Four former servers at three upscale Washington D.C. restaurants blocks from the White House were arrested last week for allegedly using covert skimming devices to clone customer credit card data, in a year-long counterfeiting operation that's put $750,000 in fraudulent charges on the plastic of Washington's elite.
Servers at Clyde's of Gallery Place, M&S Grill, and 701 Restaurant, along with Maryland workers at Carrabba's Italian Grill and the Gaylord Hotel, allegedly stole the card numbers. According to the Secret Service, the data wound up in the hands of 28-year-old Joseph Artemus Bush, III, a Maryland man who was repeatedly caught on surveillance video using counterfeit cards with the skimmed account numbers.
Bush's alleged MO was to purchase American Express gift cards at area Target and Walmart stores, then redeem them at high-end shops like Barney's of New York and Gucci. Last week he was charged with credit card fraud, along with two alleged confederates, Erick V. Burton and Aaron Gilbert. The four servers charged are Lavelle Denise Payne, Shannon Eileen McLaughlin, Jamaal Snowden and Simone Carrie Diane Folk.
------------------------------Luckily I didn't visit any of these places in my trips to DC...but some of my friends do on a regular basis.