WENATCHEE — A former ticket sales employee at Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort is accused of embezzling nearly $40,000 in refunded season and day passes.

Authorities say Mary Elizabeth Peterson of Entiat refunded 64 passes totalling $39,529 to her personal debit or credit cards between January 2018 and March 2019, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Chelan County Superior Court.

Peterson, 47, of Entiat, was hired by Mission Ridge in November 2015 as an assistant manager of the ticketing and season pass department and then promoted to manager in 2018, the affidavit said. Peterson was fired from Mission Ridge in April for unrelated reasons, according to the affidavit.

In her role with the department, Peterson issued refunds to customers who bought passes but never used them. In October, a customer asked to refund an unused season pass, but the resort’s sales system showed a refund had already been issued.

Authorities believe that after refunding the money to her accounts, Peterson reactivated the season pass to avoid customer complaints, the affidavit said.

An investigation found 64 passes were refunded to four debit cards, the affidavit said. In a December interview with a Chelan County Sheriff’s Office detective, Peterson said she transferred the refunds to three debit cards and didn’t remember a fourth card account.

Peterson has not been arrested but was charged Jan. 23 with one count of first-degree theft. She was summoned by mail to appear in court on Feb. 12.

Authorities are not aware of any Mission Ridge customers who lost money as a result of the alleged embezzlement.

Pete O’Cain: 664-7152

ocain@wenatcheeworld.com or

on Twitter@peterocain