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Dallas Restaurant Scam: Two Women Claim Glass in Their Food and Demand Payment

They order food and after a few minutes, call a waiter over and show them glass on the plate and a bloody napkin. Then they demand cash for dental work.
By Nancy Nichols |
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Two women, allegedly mother and daughter, have been making the rounds and attempting to shake down Dallas restaurants. They order food and, after a few minutes, call a waiter over and show them glass on the plate and a bloody napkin. The “mother” claims she has broken a tooth or a crown and cuts on the inside of her mouth. She leaves a phone number and then they rush out of the restaurant to see a doctor. They return a day later with a claim allegedly signed by a dentist outlining a $5,000 dental procedure. To soften the blow, the “mother” claims her insurance will pay half. Then she asks the restaurant to pay the remaining $2,500.

Sevy’s is one of the four restaurants that I know of that have been hit. Co-owner Amy Severson spoke on the record about her experience. “At first we handled it like any other accident claim,” Severson says. “We filed a claim with our insurance company, interviewed the staff, tried to identify the glass, which we couldn’t trace to any of our glassware, and alerted all kitchen workers to the potential problem.”

When the woman returned to ask for the $2,500 co-pay, the management got suspicious. “When we told her our insurance company would take care of the payment, she lowered her offer,” Severson says. “She looked at our GM and said, ‘I could take less if you can help me out.’” Once again, she was instructed to call the insurance company.

Severson called the insurance company and was told not to worry. Apparently the same two women had pulled the same scam on three other restaurants over the same weekend. They had her name and all of her contact information. They had even looked at her Facebook page. (Note to future scammers: insurance companies share information on these types of claims.)

Buddy Cramer, co-owner of Bandido’s in Snider Plaza, was not so lucky.  “Yeah, she came in here in mid-September and told the waiter there was glass in her food,” Cramer says. “We don’t even have any glass in our kitchen, but we had the place scoured. Even had the dish washers cleaned out to see if there was glass in there. But we paid her $2,300 or so.”

In late October, the women showed up at 5 Creek Tavern in Highland Park Village. They sat at the bar and ordered appetizers. Within minutes, the “mother” made a loud noise and told the bartender there was glass in her food. She said she was going to faint and ran to the bathroom. She returned with bloody tissues. She gave her contact number and planned to return the next day to pick up a check. What the women did not know is that 5 Creeks Tavern is also co-owned by Buddy Cramer.

“We were going to pay her,” Cramer says. “Then one of our kitchen workers who also works at Sevy’s told the managers she did the same thing there.” When the manager of 5 Creeks called Cramer to tell him they’d cut a check, Cramer told them to delay the payment because she’d already hit him up at Bandido’s. He called the Highland Park Police Department and tried to set up a sting operation. The police weren’t interested.

Cramer told his manager to call the woman and tell her she’d just made the biggest mistake of her scamming career. She’d hit the same owner twice and Cramer was calling the police. She showed up the same day with a cashier’s check for the balance and apologized. “No doubt she scammed somebody else to get the money to pay me,” Cramer says.

Ironically the Highland Park Police Department called the next day and said they wanted to go through with the sting. Someone in the department had been investigating the women who allegedly have been foraging medical documents. “It was too late for us,” Cramer says. “Maybe spreading the word will keep other businesses from paying them.

The women could have gotten inspiration for their scam from a couple in Massachusetts who were involved in a multi-state glass-eating insurance fraud scheme. They were eventually busted. The husband was sentenced to 63 months in prison, while the wife did 51 months.

I can’t tell you the names of the women, but as of today their Facebook pages are still up. I can tell you the “mother” is 45-ish, has long brown hair, and usually wears a floppy hat at night. If you are a restaurateur and this happens to you, treat it as a usual claim, but take a photo of them and report it to the police.  If it has already happened to your establishment, call the police.

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