Sections

Busy Chef in hiding as new charges loom

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Busy Chef Dan Kaufman has spent the week out of view after being charged with stealing nearly $25,000 — and attempting to steal $46,000 more — from unwitting customers in a massive identity theft and credit card forgery case.

Kaufman, the manager and co-owner of the popular Brooklyn Heights upscale take-out joint, surrendered to cops on July 17 to answer charges that has been stealing his customers’ credit card numbers since February and ringing up a total of $24,978.53 from 19 customers. He is also charged with attempting to steal nearly $46,000 from five other patrons.

Kaufman, 34, was about to spend the next four days in jail pending a hearing because Supreme Court Judge Evelyn LaPorte refused to accept $50,000 in bail from Kaufman until he could prove that the money was obtained legally.But the busted chef’s girlfriend, whose name was not provided by court officials, put up the $50,000 bail last Friday.

But just because Kaufman is out, doesn’t mean the manager of two Busy Chef locations, plus the upscale pizzeria Oven, the Blue Pig ice cream parlors and The Wine Bar at 50 Henry Street, is home free.

A grand jury convened this week to consider the 19 charges against Kaufman, a District Attorney spokesman said.

This isn’t the first time a Kaufman business has had trouble, according to court papers. In either late 2006 or 2007, Kaufman set up a trendy wine bar in South Boston, where he did not pay more than $40,000 rent, according to a landlord who sued Kaufman to recoup those losses.

“We’ve never gotten a dime out of him. We got possession of the premises but that’s it,” the landlord’s lawyer, James Rudser, told The Brooklyn Paper. “He never puts anything in his name, he knows what he’s doing in terms of the scamming.”

A supplier who worked with Kaufman at that restaurant said he was owed at least $10,000, and finally refused to do business with Kaufman unless he was paid in cash.

“He screwed people three ways to Sunday,” the vendor told The Brooklyn Paper. “I don’t know how he does it — he can look at you smiling and lie to your face, and not even bat an eyelash.”

In fact, media attention to the Brooklyn case has prompted more alleged victims to come forward.

“We expect that the amount and the time frame [of the scam] will grow,” a law enforcement source told The Brooklyn Paper.

Kaufman did not respond to messages left at his apartment. His lawyer, James Moschella, did not return repeated calls for comment. In court last week, he defended his client as an “upstanding member of the community.”

That appeared to be true.

“He went out of his way to make himself known to the community,” said Brooklyn Heights Association Executive Director Judy Stanton. “I think he sensed the community-minded spirit of Brooklyn Heights, and so he wanted to help.”

Kaufman was busted after an employee caught him in the act and quietly began collecting evidence against his boss, according to the criminal complaint.

He also asked employees to run charges for him — some of them fraudulent, the complaint states. When an employee asked Kaufman what he was doing, Kaufman allegedly brushed off the questions and answered with “nonsensical responses,” said the prosecutor, Wilfredo Cotto.

But Kaufman’s employees knew something was up — he had been bouncing checks “all over the place,” one Busy Chef employee said.

That’s when the employees began collecting evidence.

On Sunday, employees at the Henry Street location of Busy Chef and the neighboring Blue Pig had taped up signs reading, “No credit cards accepted.”

Updated 5:07 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Jazz from brooklyn heights says:
What did he do up in Vermont?
http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/2901
July 24, 2008, 9:39 am
jk from nyc says:
ROGUE took $233 from me...never even been there.
July 31, 2008, 11:03 am
Murphy from Boston says:
In anwser to your question.Oh and there is a pic of him too.

http://burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?Date=20060921&Category=BUSINESS&ArtNo=60926040&SectionCat=
Aug. 1, 2008, 9:36 pm
a suppliar from brooklyn says:
all i could say is he deserves what he gets, hes a pathological liar, in all the years im doing business with people i've never come across such a bull—— artist. a man who can deny having a child that he brought into this world deserves everything thats coming to him. i hope he rots in jail.he would pay me and the checks all bounced. always passing the bucket to his workers. he'd say oh you know hes a moron well the moron only took orders from him.he told everyone he was a 20% owner. he had us all fooled. i hope his girlfriend opens her eyes. and how many woman did he have does she really know. what a loser.
Aug. 16, 2008, 8:40 pm
in the know says:
He has one child, at least that I know of. A girl....5 yrs old. And you are right...he believes his lies are the truth.
Aug. 30, 2008, 5:49 pm
an old employee from boston says:
I hope he rots in jail forever. That will almost make up for the money he owes me. Then My paychecks stated bouncing in december ruining christmas and almost getting me evicted from my apt!!
Oct. 27, 2008, 9:09 pm
an old employee of busy chef from brooklyn says:
The man's a pathelogical liar. He can look you directly in the face and tell a bold faced lie..it's amazing. That bastard sent bouncing checks everywhere, and started tellin us when or where we could cash our checks and if we didnt comply we would get fired! Theif..ur gone forever!
Nov. 4, 2008, 12:22 am
an old employee of busy chef from brooklyn says:
The man's a pathelogical liar. He can look you directly in the face and tell a bold faced lie..it's amazing. That bastard sent bouncing checks everywhere, and started tellin us when or where we could cash our checks and if we didnt comply we would get fired! Theif..ur gone forever!
Nov. 4, 2008, 9:44 pm
L.B. says:
It's funny how they said "ATM Machine"....ATM actually stands for automatic teller (machine)..haha
Jan. 21, 2009, 10:34 pm
shocked says:
does anyone know what bank those checks were written off? Does first tennessee bank sound right? just curious.....seems I might also be a victim....
Sept. 10, 2010, 12:04 pm
Mysterious Woman from Boston says:
I met Dan in Boston about 10 years ago. We dated on and off for about 3 months if that! I soon realized he's all talk and nothing to back it up. I can HONESTLY that the best thing about him was sex. He's very well equipped and knows how to satisfy a woman for sure! It STILL wasn't enough for me to stick around once I figured out he's a scumbag. BTW, he's a chubby chaser too :)
April 25, 2011, 5:09 am
awesome slut from new york city says:
dan has a pencil dick, looks like a hedgehog naked and is absolutely hideous in bed. i got drunk most nights to avoid having to deal with his awkward fumbling.
May 5, 2011, 2:42 pm
olivia cutler from fort greene says:
he's amazing in bed...major piece of sh** tho
July 18, 2017, 12:03 am
Mermaid from Sf says:
Horrible Lay, might be spreading disease. I’m happy I dodged a bullet And was over his mediocrity in two days. Lesson learned.
Jan. 11, 1:22 am

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: