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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


DECEMBER 11, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


FORMER KC MAN INDICTED FOR IDENTITY THEFT,

CREDIT CARD FRAUD


RESTAURANT WAITER ALLEGEDLY TARGETED

CUSTOMERS ON THE PLAZA


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former Kansas City, Mo., man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for stealing identity information from customers at the Plaza restaurant where he worked, then using that information to make online purchases.


            John David Woody, 34, of Los Angeles, Calif., formerly of Kansas City, was charged in a 13-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury on Nov. 18, 2008. That indictment was unsealed and made public today, following Woody’s arrest in California and his initial court appearance in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City this morning.


            The federal indictment alleges that, in July and August 2008, Woody gained access to the credit card numbers of customers at the Brio Tuscan Grille in the County Club Plaza while he was employed as a waiter at the restaurant. Woody returned the credit cards to the customers, the indictment says, but somehow recorded the names and credit card numbers without their knowledge or authority. The indictment cites five separate identity theft victims.


            Woody allegedly used customers’ names and credit card numbers to place online orders, including thousands of dollars worth of boxed sets of DVDs.


            Woody is charged with five counts of aggravated identity theft, five counts of credit card fraud and three counts of mail fraud.


            Wood cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Cowles. It was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html