Restaurant owner in Saigon jailed for overcharging Australian diner $30,000

The owner had his staff swipe the customer’s credit cards multiple times.

HCM City People’s Court on Friday sentenced a restaurant owner to seven years in jail for misappropriating more than VND683 million (US$31,100) from an Australian client. Tran Tuan Minh, 23, of southern Ben Tre province is the director of NighFall Restaurant Ltd Company in District 1.

On August 11, 2016, Australian national Caracciolo David John, 45, and a group of friends visited Minh’s restaurant, had dinner and played bar billiards. John used two cards – a Visa and a Master – from two Australian banks to pay the bill, which came up to VND23 million (nearly $1,000). However, several days later, after returning to Australia, John discovered that AU$39,429 (VNĐ683 million/US$31,100) had been withdrawn from his accounts. Minh got his staff to swipe the cards 10 times and withdraw more money than John’s bill amount.

The bank receipt shows that the Nightfall restaurant staff swiped the victim’s cards eight times and withdrew VND683 million. – Photo vietnamplus.vn

Minh also forged the signature of the card holder to withdraw money at a bank the following day. At the court, Minh admitted that he misappropriated the money because his business suffered difficulties. The misappropriated money was hidden in his motorbike’s trunk. His family mortgaged its house to compensate for the fraud.