Asha Smriti Malhotra, 35, of House Springs has been charged with a felony for allegedly embezzling $33,082.74 from RJ Catering, the catering service for the Rocking J Venue, 6722 Bridle Trail Lane, in High Ridge. Malhorta allegedly used two payment services to steal the money while working as a sub-contractor for the business, authorities reported.
Malhorta was charged with felony stealing $25,000 or more, a class C felony punishable by three to 10 years in prison. The charges were filed Aug. 24 following the completion of the investigation, and she is scheduled to appear before Jefferson County Div. 4 Circuit Judge Brenda Stacey on Thursday, Dec. 15, for an arraignment hearing, court records show.
The owner of the catering service reported the alleged theft on Oct. 11, 2021, to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office after noticing money missing from the business account a month earlier. The victim said money was removed from the account without her consent between May 13, 2021, and Sept. 23, 2021, the probable-cause statement in the case said.
Twelve payments totaling $29,582.74 reportedly were sent from a payroll service the business uses to a Bank of America account registered to Malhotra. In addition, three transactions totaling $3,500 allegedly were sent from a payment service the business uses to the same Bank of America account registered to Malhotra, the report said.