Steakhouse waiters indicted in credit card scam

Authorities say waiters were responsible for a scam that afffected at least 50 American Express customers.

Story highlights

  • 28 people are indicted in a credit card scam
  • 7 of the suspects were waiters at high-end steakhouse
  • 50 American Express customers were affected, authorities say
Twenty-eight people have been indicted in New York in a connection with a credit card scam in which stolen American Express card numbers were used to buy luxury items, prosecutors said Friday.
Authorities say they were able to trace the scheme to a group of seven high-end steakhouse waiters in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey who used customer information using high-tech handheld credit card "skimmer" devices to steal account numbers and related customer information.
At least 50 American Express customers were affected by the scam, according to a Manhattan District Attorney statement.
"The high-end targets of this case make it notable, but disturbingly this case is far from unique," said District Attorney Cyrus Vance.
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the effort to nab the suspects came from the combined work of New York police detectives and the U.S. Secret Service.
On Thursday, authorities say, they seized $1 million worth of luxury watches, expensive wine and more $1.2 million in cash connected to the scam.
The arrests followed an 18-month investigation during which authorities eavesdropped using "video surveillance, physical surveillance, computer forensics, and extensive analysis of credit card, banking and phone records," the statement said.