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‘Professional thief’ costs Naples restaurant thousands

NAPLES, Fla. – A Naples woman was arrested and is facing a felony charge for an elaborate scam selling empty gift cards from a Naples steakhouse.

Pamela Moore, 40, was once a server at Martin Fierro Argentinian Steakhouse on Livingston Road.

But she was arrested Monday after a year of pocketing money from customers’ gift card purchases by handing them cards she activated with zero balances, deputies said.

Martin Fierro Argentinian Steakhouse owner Walter Zerbini said Moore had been one of his best employees.

Now he is calling her a thief.

“She seemed like a very nice lady but after we find out a whole bunch of other stuff. But she did play her part real well. She is a professional thief,” Zerbini said.

Moore is facing a one felony charge of grand theft, according to arrest records, and could be could be facing more charges, Zerbini said, for alleged credit card fraud.

Zerbini discovered something was wrong when patrons kept coming to the steakhouse with empty gift cards. Moore’s scheme cost his company about $3,000, according to deputy reports.

Zerbini said his restaurant will honor any gift cards Moore sold.

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