Credit-Card Skimmers Allegedly Lifted $90,000 From Midtown Hale & Hearty Customers

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Simmered down now. Photo: Hale & Hearty

The New York District Attorney's office has ended an elaborate card-skimming scheme that it says preyed on midtown Hale & Hearty lunchers for almost a year. Authorities say the enterprise got going last summer, when Iesha Jackson, an employee at the Madison Avenue–34th Street store, stole more than 20 credit-card numbers a day using a skimming device provided by her boyfriend, Gerald Spears. They made fake cards, shared them with friends, and did pretty much the usual for these types: "feverishly" bought $90,000 worth of jewelry, fancy clothes, and electronics, and attempted purchases for another $118,000. They also mined cardholders' credit reports for personal information, which got the Department of Homeland Security involved. The DA's office has slapped the whole crime ring with identity theft, grand larceny, and forgery charges, among at least a dozen others. [NBC]