Former restaurant manager to face trial on theft charges

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A former Primanti manager in the suburbs Thursday waived a preliminary hearing and will face trial on charges that he stole more than $30,000 from the restaurant chain.

Benjamin Bartilson, 30, of Pleasant Hills appeared before North Versailles District Judge Robert L. Barner on three counts of theft by unlawful taking and one count of misapplication of entrusted property.

Mr. Bartilson, a former operations manager for Primanti Brothers, was responsible for restaurants in North Versailles, Robinson, Moon and Pleasant Hills. Part of his duties were to deposit cash from the eateries in the bank.

Mr. Bartilson “utilized his trusted position” to steal money from the daily receipts of three of the stores to pay for casino gambling and then made excuses to colleagues in Primanti Brothers’ internal accounting department about the missing funds, according to an affidavit by an Allegheny County district attorney’s office detective.

“About 3 wks ago when we weren’t getting a bonus I took a NV [North Versailles] deposit to the casino and lost and I couldn’t stop for like the last 3 wks,” Mr. Bartilson wrote in a Feb. 25 text message to his boss, according to the affidavit.

“I’ve been sick about it,” Mr. Bartilson texted, the affidavit said. “They are going to fire me as soon as they notice. I can’t believe they haven’t noticed yet.”

Mr. Bartilson’s attorney, John K. Foster III, did not return a call seeking comment.

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