DEWITT, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — DeWitt Police have arrested the owner of The Chophouse on Waring after an investigation revealed that the restaurant owner was allegedly stealing money from customers credit cards and credit card processing companies.
The six-month investigation involved officers interviewing customers of the establishment, who reported they had been overcharged after dining there. Police say that most reported that they tried to get the extra charges refunded, but they were met with excuses and had to resort to disputing the charges with their credit card companies.
“They all reported kind of similar things they would go to the restaurant and either that day or the next day they would be not only charged for their bill but a secondary charge in a similar amount usually a little bit less or a little more and then sometimes they would end up with a change two or three weeks later,” DeWitt Lieutenant Christopher Fuller said.
Police say that investigators reviewed bank records of the restaurant and owner, where they say they found evidence of the restaurant falsely doubling or overcharging customers. Police say that upon receiving the deposited money from credit card processors into her business banking accounts, the owner would remove the money within a short time frame so all chargebacks would be rejected for lack of funds in the account.
“I called the restaurant and they would say oh this is some sort of an error and we’ll look into it and then they would just never get back to them and they would never get the refund and a lot of them would either have to dispute it or just eat the cost themselves,” Lieutenant Fuller said.
Police say the owner, Sharon McCarthy, 65 of DeWitt, used multiple business names to establish accounts with multiple credit card processors, and after each would subsequently suspend her accounts after they received rejections of multiple chargebacks attempts she would open a new account under a different business name.
This caused significant money loss for credit card processing companies, vendors and customers, police say. DeWitt police say that McCarthy is suspected of stealing over $100,000 in money and property. However, police say there are some records they have yet to get access to, that may reveal more unknowing victims and stolen funds.
McCarthy was arrested on Friday, October 8 on the following charges:
- Grand Larceny in the second degree
- Grand Larceny in the third degree (4 Counts)
- Grand Larceny in the fourth degree
- Scheme to Defraud in the first degree (2 counts)
Police say McCarthy was taken to the Onondaga County Justice Center pending arraignment.
If you believe you were impacted by this you can contact DeWitt police at 315-449-3640 or send a tip to Tips@TownofDeWitt.com.