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4 charged with scamming $25,000 from Cape May restaurant
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4 charged with scamming $25,000 from Cape May restaurant

Cape May Police

CAPE MAY — A city restaurant says four of its employees used a common industry scam to steal thousands of dollars over the past three months.

Police said Wednesday they arrested four people, including two from the city, for their alleged involvement in the “wagon wheel scam.” Katarina Zirdum, 31, of Cape May; Bojan Balaban, 28, of Seattle; Verginia Gheorghita, 27, of Miami; and Ana Galesic, 34, of Cape May, were each charged with theft and conspiracy to commit theft.

Detectives said Zirdum, Balaban, Gheorghita and Galesic conspired to steal about $25,000 from the restaurant, which was not identified.

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The scam employs a method in which a server will take a commonly bought item at the restaurant and transfer it across multiple tabs. Before the server closes the tab, they open up a new tab and put that item on the new one and pocket the cost of the item the customer paid for.

When a customer orders the same item, the server will transfer the item from the open tab onto the new check. Once the cash is received to close the tab, the server transfers the item back to the open tab before it gets ordered again by a new customer.

The cycle repeats itself until the end of the shift, when the server then cancels the item. This shows the item canceled only once in the restaurant’s system, and the server walks away with the cost of the item multiplied by the amount of times they pull off the scheme.

Contact John Russo: 609-272-7184

Twitter: @ACPress_Russo

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Digital producer

I graduated from Rowan University in 2011 where I studied journalism. I covered local high school and college sports at the South Jersey Times and Vineland Daily Journal. I have been a sports reporter with The Press since July 2013

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