Over two dozen waiters from some of New York’s top steakhouses have been busted in an alleged identity theft ring. The workers are accused of stealing credit card numbers from wealthy patrons, according to NBC New York.
Several suspects are from top NYC steak joints like Smith and Wollensky, Capital Grille, and Wolfgang Steak, as well as Morton’s in Stamford and the Bicycle Club in New Jersey.
The scam targeted patrons who paid for their meals with American Express Black cards and other high-limit pieces of plastic.
Some waiters allegedly used handheld scanning devices to swipe the credit card data as they walked away to process the bill. Later, leaders of the fraud ring would create new credit cards using the stolen information and test them out on taxis.
If the fake cards functioned properly, the suspects would go on major shopping binges, buying luxury brand items and then reselling them for cash.
Officials estimate profits totaled at least $1 million in the massive scam.
NYPD officials and District Attorney Cy Vance are expected to announce more details on the investigation later today. Many of the suspects are also expected to be arraigned in Manhattan criminal court.
Officials stress that the restaurant operators had no knowledge of the alleged crimes.
- Cops: NYC waiters stole $1 million in credit card scam (msnbc.msn.com)