14th Circuit Solicitor's Office​

Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties​

Former Beaufort steakhouse manager gets prison time

BEAUFORT, SC (Feb. 19, 2018) – A 44-year-old woman who pocketed thousands of dollars while working as a manager at Beaufort’s Outback Steakhouse has pleaded guilty to breach of trust with fraudulent intent of $10,000 or more.

Melanie Lesharne Daniels of St. Helena Island was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday. She must serve at least two years, then will be on probation for five years. That is the maximum probation Daniels can receive.

“Over the course of two years, Daniels used her position as a manager to steal money,” Assistant Solicitor Francine Norz said. “It’s our hope this sends a strong message to others that theft won’t be tolerated and will be prosecuted accordingly.”

While working at the steakhouse, Daniels deleted the customers’ bills from the restaurant’s computer system and kept any cash payments. 

Beaufort Police Sgt. George Erdel was the lead investigator in the steakhouse case.

Daniels has been convicted of stealing from two previous employers, Toll Brothers homebuilders in 2009 and the Beaufort Performing Arts Center in April 2011.

In addition to prosecuting white-collar crimes, Norz is a member of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit, in which she focuses on going after those who financially exploit vulnerable adults.