AUGUSTA — A former teller at Favorites, the off-track betting parlor in Waterville, is being sued for $696,000 the owner says was stolen over the past 3 ½ years.

The lawsuit, filed in the parlor’s name, Pioneer Gaming LLC, alleges that Michael S. Tardiff Sr., 50, of Augusta, embezzled the money between November 2013 and August 2017.

John Barnicle, attorney for Pioneer Gaming, filed the civil action in Kennebec County Superior Court in September, and a judge approved an attachment of $696,000 on Tardiff’s property.

No criminal charges have been filed against Tardiff in connection with any theft, and Waterville Deputy Police Chief William Bonney said last week there was not a case there involving Tardiff.

“My focus to date has been trying to secure assets for Pioneer Gaming,” Barnicle said Wednesday.

He also said that Tardiff no longer works for the company.

Tardiff denies the allegations in a response to the lawsuit filed Sept. 28 by his attorney, Walter McKee.

On Wednesday, McKee said via email, “We are looking into the allegations that have been made and at this point will decline further comment.”

In an affidavit accompanying the lawsuit, Pioneer Gaming owner Donald Barberino of Wallingford, Connecticut, said, “It is my belief, commencing in 2013, Tardiff undertook and carried out a scheme to embezzle monies from Favorites.”

It also says Tardiff was one of the employees carried over when Barberino acquired Favorites in 2011 from Sportech, which had been operating the off-track betting parlor as John Martin’s Manor.

Barberino said that at Favorites, customers go to a self-service machine or a teller to place bets on various horse races simulcast from race tracks around the country.

Barberino said accounts for Favorites were not reconciling with monthly reports as they did at Sanford OTB, Pioneer Gambling’s other off-track betting site in Maine.

He said he reviewed closing settlement reports following “significant but unexplained losses at Favorites,” and saw “a huge discrepancy between vouchers sold and vouchers cashed in at the end of (2016)” and calculated that $232,000 more money was cashed out than taken in.

The lawsuit says Tardiff would log out after closing accounts for the night and then log back in under a former employee’s ID, then “print off a betting voucher receipt for either $1,415 or $2,380, or $5,660 without paying cash into the system.” It says Tardiff issued the vouchers to himself and exchanged them later for cash or to place bets.

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