By Elliott Francis
A former employee of a Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Washington has been arrested on bank fraud charges. The server is accused of stealing credit card numbers from customers in a scam worth thousands of dollars.
Agents with the U.S. Secret Service say the scheme was discovered following an alert from a Citibank investigator who traced multiple fraudulent charges to that restaurant in the District. The employee was traced through a security measure maintained by the restaurant.
Investigators arrested Nicole Ward and charged the former restaurant employee with bank fraud. Ward is also accused of recruiting two other servers in the scam.
According to court documents, Ward provided those servers with electronic devices called skimmers to record the credit card numbers of diners they served at the restaurant. All three say they were working for a larger fraud ring which used the stolen numbers to create fraudulent credit cards used to buy more than $117,000 dollars worth merchandise in the Washington area.
The two other unidentified servers were not charged, due to their cooperation with investigators.