ROCKLAND, Maine — The owner of two Rockland restaurants has filed a lawsuit against her former bookkeeper, alleging she embezzled nearly $80,000.

Lynn Archer and her company Archer’s LLC filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Knox County Superior Court against Melanie L. Allen of Union.

Allen was arrested Oct. 23 by Rockland police and charged with felony theft and felony forgery. At the time, police said Allen was suspected of embezzling at least $18,000 from the Brass Compass Cafe and Archer’s on the Pier, both Rockland restaurants owned by Lynn Archer.

Police said at the time that they suspected more may have been taken.

The lawsuit states that Archer hired Allen as an independent contractor to do bookkeeping and accounting and that Allen had done the work for years and earned her trust.

Starting in January 2013 and continuing through October, Allen began forging checks and taking cash from the Brass Compass and Archer’s restaurant. The lawsuit claims that Allen forged Archer’s name on $49,592 in checks and stole about $30,000 in cash from the two restaurants.

Also, during those 10 months, Allen failed to pay state sales taxes for the two restaurants, which has resulted in Archer incurring interest and penalties for the failure to pay the taxes.

Archer is seeking to recover the money taken by Allen as well as costs incurred with the thefts. Allen’s acts were intentional and malicious, the lawsuit claims, and thus Archer is eligible to recover unspecified punitive damages, according to the lawsuit.

Archer is represented by attorney Robert Rubin.