The ex-manager of a Chinese restaurant in the North-east has been accused of stealing almost £56,000 from his former employers.
Johnny Liu denied three charges when he appeared before magistrates in Newcastle upon Tyne.
The 40-year-old is alleged to have taken the money during the 18 months he worked at the Mandalay, in the Jesmond suburb of Newcastle.
In the first charge he is accused of stealing £19,353, and in the second, £36,383. He is also accused of stealing a cheque worth £200.
Liu was appointed manager when the Mandalay opened in 2000.
He had previously run the Peninsular restaurant in Morpeth, Northumberland, and the Waterside Palace, on Newcastle Quayside.
Liu, of Wallsend, North Tyneside, was granted conditional bail, and the case was adjourned until 16 September.