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Identity theft ring discovered among waiters

Wait staff at top New York steakhouses stole credit card numbers from customers

Last week, authorities busted an identity theft ring that scammed patrons of some of New York’s top steakhouses.

According to two indictments state and federal officials filed, members of wait staffs at restaurants such as Smith & Wollensky’s and the Capital Grille used a high-tech device that fit in the palms of their hands to obtain credit card numbers. They used those numbers to create phony credit cards, then sent shoppers to high-end stores, such as Jimmy Choo and Cartier, to obtain luxury merchandise they then sold for profit.

On Thursday, while executing a search warrant on a storage facility in Manhattan, authorities discovered more than $1 million worth of stolen merchandise, as well as $1.2 million in cash.

The 28-member ring was operating in high-end steakhouses in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. The operation’s ringleader, Luis Damian Jacas, is facing 135 felony counts.

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Cathleen Flahardy

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