Steakhouse Waiters From Smith And Wollensky, Wolfgang Steak, And More Arrested For Credit Card Fraud

11/18/2011 11:16 am ET

Waiters and other restaurant employees from some of the city's top steakhouses, including Smith and Wollensky and Wolfgang's, have been arrested for allegedly taking part in a massive identity theft ring totaling at least $1 million in stolen credit card information.

NBC New York reports on the more than a dozen arrests of both current and former employees who allegedly used handheld credit card skimmers to copy information from wealthy patrons paying with high-limit credit cards such as the American Express Black card.

The rather complicated scenario would then involve the illicitly obtained card information to be sent to the alleged fraud ring, who would then use the information to buy high-end, luxury goods such as Jimmy Choo shoes.

Those goods would then be resold for cash.

Police say restaurant owners were unaware of the alleged scam.

News of the arrests come two days after police arrested three Canadian tourists on Wednesday for allegedly planting hidden cameras and card skimmers in Chase ATM's near Union Square and stealing nearly $300,000 from more than a thousand customers.

Back in October, it was reported that banks in the United States were failing to properly secure credit and debit card information, ultimately losing in the global effort to fight off thieves and hackers.

According to the report, fraud in the United States made up for 47 percent of the international fraud losses in the past year.

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