Here’s a perfect example of why you should pay close attention to both the card swiping cashier and your online statement.
There’s big news today that the owner of the Blue Pig ice cream shop in Brooklyn Heights, NYC has been arrested on charges of grand larceny for stealing $24,978.53 from 19 customers by re-swiping their credit cards and overcharging them.
Ouch, he was just one $21.47-tub of Rocky Road away from making it an even $25 grand. So close.
Daniel Kaufman, 34, was also the owner of an upscale pizzeria, wine bar, and 2 other cafe restaurants in the Brooklyn/Manhattan area.
According to The Brooklyn Paper, he wasn’t too slick about it:
Kaufman was busted this week after an employee caught him in the act and quietly began collecting evidence against his boss, according to the complaint.
He also asked employees to run charges for him — some of them fraudulent, the complaint states. When an employee asked Kaufman what he was doing, Kaufman allegedly brushed off the questions and answered with “nonsensical responses,” said the prosecutor, Wilfredo Otto.
Yeah, when you start uttering nonsensical responses as to why you’re reswiping a card that already went through, you know you’ve lost your touch.
According to the Consumerist, many online reviews for the ice cream store say the establishment was always a big fan of pawning off store-bought ice cream as a ‘homemade speciality’. That old gag makes me fly into a violent rage at Thanksgiving when relatives come with repackaged Boston Market sides, but to make a living off doing it at your ice cream shop is low.
I don’t think I’m the only one out there assuming that all cutesy ice cream shops should be owned and operated by honest law-abiding people. If these allegations against Kaufman are true, he should stick to pet stores and pyramid schemes. That’s where dishonest and swindling owners can make a few bucks.
So let this sordid tale of fradulent business practices, discolored pigs, and empty calories serve as a reminder to be safe and check your online balance and receipts. Especially if that cashier is doing a couple of extra swipes for good measure.
(photo originally uploaded by dirtystylus)
The Brooklyn Paper: Heights food owner arrested on identity theft, forgery, July 18, 2008 via Consumerist and Yelp