Washington DC hit by credit card cloning

Servers at Clyde's of Gallery Place, M&S Grill and 701 Restaurant, along with Maryland workers as Carrabba's Italian Grill and the Gaylord Hotel are allegedly responsible for the theft of the credit card numbers using easily obtainable skimming devices. The DC skimming ring first rang the alarm bells of Citibank who noticed an increase in fraudulent transactions trailing legitimate card use at Clyde's. In this case a single server wound up accounting for $107,000 in bogus charges.

The most prestigious, and recent, hot spot was 701 Restaurant, the clubby eatery where Hillary Clinton rang out her presidential campaign last June. Restaurant owner Ashok Bajaj says the Secret Service told him about the skimming earlier this month. According to court records, cash register logs tied $38,000 in fraudulent transactions to cards handled by server Lavelle Denise Payne from August 2008 until this month.

At the agency's request, Bajaj kept Payne on for another week while the government firmed up its case. "We watched her very carefully for that week," says Bajaj. "She was the nicest person. I don't know. Maybe this is a sign of the economy."

"It's very sad when people do these things," Bajaj adds. "I mean, she was making excellent money working at the restaurant. But I guess it's never enough."

Source: Threat Level

Along with the ringleader, Joseph Artemus Bush III, two alleged confederates Erick V. Burton and Aaron Gilbert were charged. The four servers that were charged were Lavelle Denise Payne, Shannon Eileen McLaughlin, Jamaal Snowden and Simone Carrie Diane Folk.