Vermont Restaurant Settles Charges by Attorney General’s Office Over Credit Card Fraud

Caroline Strange reports that the Grand Buffet restaurant in Essex Junction, Vermont, has settled charges brought by the VT Attorney General’s Office following an investigation into credit card fraud that affected the restaurant’s customers.

If that sounds a bit atypical to you (it did to me), it turns out that the restaurant had known there was a problem but had not taken remedial steps to prevent further problems. Specifically, following evidence of credit card fraud in 2012, the restaurant failed to consistently implement recommendations that had been made to it to prevent such problems. In 2014, at least 79 more customers became victims of credit card fraud.  The settlement explains that the restaurant was deemed to have engaged in unfair practices under Vermont’s law by failing to take appropriate security measures.


Here’s the announcement from the Attorney General’s Office:

Attorney General Thomas J. Donovan, Jr. reached a settlement yesterday with the Grand Buffet restaurant in Essex Junction. The investigation arose from security breaches where at least one employee stole customers’ credit card numbers. The thefts, which took place in 2014, involved at least 100 customers. The resulting credit card fraud totaled approximately $35,000. The settlement resolves the investigation with the restaurant, and its owner and manager. The employer had previously been notified about its employees’ mishandling of customer credit cards and failed to implement corrective action.

The settlement requires Grand Buffet to change how its employees handle credit cards, implement better record keeping, and pay a penalty of $30,000.

“Businesses must keep consumers’ personal financial information safe,” said Attorney General Donovan. “We know that small businesses are the lifeblood of Vermont’s economy. I will work with our small business community to give them the tools they need to protect their customers.”

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  1. Billy Reuben - February 22, 2017

    Interesting that as part of the injunctive relief, Grand Buffet was instructed to eliminate the practice of wait-staff walking off with customer’s credit cards and instead collect card information only via the hostess stand or table kiosks. Personally, that’s been my standard practice for five years now. I never hand my card to someone who then leaves the room. I understand that it’s been an accepted part of American culture for decades, but so were ice truck deliveries and 8-track tapes. An educated consumer is the final frontier….

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