Customers Fuming Over Tulsa Restaurant's Fraudulent Debit Card Charges

Tuesday, June 19th 2012, 7:21 pm
By: News On 6

Customers of a west Tulsa burger joint say the restaurant debited hundreds of dollars from their accounts, months after they ordered a meal.

Kim Seabolt says she only ordered dinner once from Burger Express.  Six months later, she was stunned to see the restaurant suddenly charged her the odd amount of 251 dollars.

"I'm a big girl but I didn't order $251 worth of food, that's for sure," Seabolt said.

The same thing happened to Eric Ford.

"I thought somebody had access to my card and ordered food," Ford said. "But $250 from a burger place is a lot of food."

Angry about the charges, the customers called Burger Express to demand answers. But this is what they heard:

"This is the Burger Express... closed until further notice," a recording said.

Burger Express closed two weeks ago.

The building's landlord, Robert Crow, said he leased to Burger Express for four years. He was surprised to hear about the charges.

"Well, as a retired police officer, you know what I think, it's highly suspicious," Crow said.

We called the owner of Burger Express, Stuart Otis. He said he was forced to shut down because he couldn't afford building upgrades the health department required.

Otis blames the charges on former employees.

"I had some disgruntled employees who ran some charges on my machine," Otis said.

He said he trusted too many people with keys to his establishment which gave them access to his credit card machine.

"Money never went into my account," Otis said. "All the charges run on the machine have now been refunded back to the customers. Sorry for the inconvenience. I feel someone was trying to mess with me. This has been a very, very frustrating experience for me."

Otis said customers should expect to see a full refund in the next few days.

Meanwhile, the customers said they have filed police reports and have had to close their bank accounts.

"[I'm] confused and very mad," Seabolt said. "That was our rent money to pay our rent."

The Tulsa Police Department's fraud division is still investigating.