Deputies: Weeki Wachee State Park employee filled up gas tank 30 times using company card

WEEKI WACHEE, Fla. - A 26-year-old Weeki Wachee State Park employee was arrested Thursday after getting busted for filling up his gas tank on his employer's dime.

An employee at Weeki Wachee State Park told Hernando deputies that a discrepancy was noticed in the amount of gasoline being used at the park. 

Each employee that has access to a Weeki Wachee State Park gasoline credit card has their own PIN number.  When gas is purchased, the employee is required to turn in the receipt.

Park employees reviewed logs that are kept for gasoline purchases and realized that there were 30 gas purchases totaling over $1,500 that was unaccounted for.

When an investigation was conducted, employee Dakota Hardesty began to stand out.  

Officials say he would often leave for lunch in his own vehicle, not taking any gasoline cans from the park, but would return with a receipt for gasoline that had been purchased.

Investigators determined that Hardesty had been buying gas on the company credit card for his own vehicle, dating back to September of 2012, having made 20 fraudulent purchases.

Deputies interviewed Hardesty on Thursday and he admitted to the crime.   

He was arrested for Organized Fraud and his bond was set at $5,000.

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