1897: Escoffier and Ritz Swindle the Savoy
Just before the turn of the 20th Century, as Queen Victoria was celebrating her Diamond Jubilee, renowned hotelier Cesar Ritz (as in The Ritz) and renowned chef Auguste Escoffier (as in the progenitor of the all modern, French-influenced cuisine) committed one of the first tabloid-worthy restaurant crimes in modern times while employed by London's Savoy Hotel. The pair were planning to open the Carlton Hotel in 1898, and during the previous year they swiped the equivalent of about $800,000 (in current dollars) worth of fine wine and spirits to woo potential investors at lavish dinners. Also, Escoffier managed to skim another $3 million or so through "commissions" on deliveries from suppliers to the Savoy kitchen. The two were fired as soon as their crimes were found out, but their dismissal was covered up for almost a century and lost to the Savoy's archives.