Sunday, October 16, 2016

Man accused of posing as McDonald's compliance officer in multi-state scam arrested

Booking photo for David Scott Goldstein
Henrico VA Oct 16 2016 A man accused in multiple states of impersonating a McDonald’s corporate compliance officer in a scam to steal goods and services has been arrested in Henrico County on charges of defrauding a Sandston hotel off Interstate 64.
Authorities say David Scott Goldstein, 47, of Minneapolis, Minn., had developed an elaborate scheme in which he would don a McDonald’s dress shirt with the company’s logo and bring along documents that included a bogus McDonald’s identity in his bid to obtain various services, such as hotel rooms and rental cars. He would pay visits to various McDonald’s restaurants and gain access to secure areas to obtain company documents he would later use in the scam, police said.
In his first publicized arrest, Goldstein was charged in February with posing as a McDonald’s corporate employee in Bloomington, Minn., where he stayed at a hotel near the Mall of America and pledged that McDonald’s headquarters would pick up the bill, the Star Tribune reported.
McDonald’s managers at a restaurant in Bloomington were alerted to be on the lookout for Goldstein, and a security officer for the national chain contacted police after spotting him in a corporate-owned restaurant in the region, the newspaper said. He was arrested in a traffic stop and charged with felony fraud.
Goldstein was most recently arrested on Sept. 23 in Henrico after police responded to the Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel at 5996 Audubon Drive in Sandston for a reported larceny. An employee at the hotel advised that Goldstein’s form of payment had been declined, Henrico police spokesman Lt. Chris Garrett said in an email.
While police spoke with the employee, Goldstein was seen driving out of the hotel’s parking lot and officers “witnessed (him) commit traffic violations as he left the area,” Garrett said. Officers eventually stopped Goldstein and took him into custody. Further investigation led police to charge Goldstein with defrauding an innkeeper, identity theft, eluding police and two traffic offenses, Garrett said.
Garrett said it didn’t appear Goldstein was posing as a McDonald’s employee in Henrico. He declined to say whether any McDonald’s logo shirts or company documents were found in his possession.
A source familiar with the investigation said Henrico police found McDonald’s-related items and more than 20 credit cards in his car after his arrest here. He had no valid driver’s license.
Authorities said Goldstein has perpetuated his scam in states throughout the Midwest and New England. In August, police in Rutland, Vt., warned the public that Goldstein was in the area posing as a McDonald’s compliance officer and stealing from businesses.
Police in Rutland said Goldstein would walk into businesses dressed in a red shirt with the McDonald’s logo and carry a binder with the chain’s emblem. Police said he then uses fake documentation to obtain goods and services.
In the Bloomington, Minn., case, a police search of his car turned up evidence that he paid nearly $1,000 for a rental car and his hotel bill with a prepaid credit card, the Star Tribune reported. But the hotel said it could not collect for the room because the card was invalid.
In a separate case in southwestern Minnesota, a general manager of a Holiday Inn Express said Goldstein had duped his staff as well and had made a reservation in the name of the McDonald’s Corporation.
Goldstein is being held without bond in the Henrico Jail. He was denied bail during a hearing Thursday in Henrico General District Court. He appealed the decision to Henrico Circuit Court, where a second hearing will be held Wednesday.
Goldstein is being represented by veteran defense attorney Wayne Morgan. A preliminary hearing on his charges in Henrico is set for Dec. 13.
Richmond Times Dispatch 

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