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Connecticut DOT Employee Arrested for Stealing $200,000 in Gift Card Scheme

Calvin Ortique Accused of Elaborate Gift Card Scam

Calvin Ortique, a 34-year-old employee of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT), was arrested for allegedly orchestrating an elaborate gift card scheme that resulted in the theft of approximately $200,000 from the Hartford Restaurant Group’s Wood-n-Tap restaurants. 

The scheme involved stealing gift card balances and loyalty rewards from the restaurant chain during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

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Restaurant Group Discovers Missing Balances

The Hartford Restaurant Group, which owns and operates 10 Wood-n-Tap restaurants, discovered the missing balances on gift cards and loyalty cards in the summer of 2021 when customers started reporting that their cards had no money left. 

The balances ranged from $30 to $700, and customers claimed they had not used the cards at the locations where the funds were allegedly spent.

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Credits: DepositPhotos

Investigation Reveals Scheme

The investigation conducted by the Newington Police Department uncovered that Ortique had obtained information through the point-of-sale system managing loyalty and gift card numbers. He and other co-conspirators allegedly redeemed over $20,000 in value at the restaurants and presented some stolen card numbers on fraudulently created e-gift card images.

Restitution for Affected Guests

Following Ortique’s arrest, the Wood-n-Tap restaurants vowed to “make things right” for their guests, acknowledging the disappointment and inconvenience caused by the theft. The chain reassured customers that their personal information was not compromised and that the breach was a result of random numbers being breached.

Ongoing Investigation

The case remains under investigation by the authorities as they continue to probe the full extent of the gift card scam and any potential involvement of other individuals.

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