Former Lincolnshire restaurant manager admits stealing IDs to fund Disney trips
Sun-Times Media Wire February 5, 2014 4:54PM
Alexander Pera | Courtesy of Lincolnshire police
Updated: March 7, 2014 1:44PM
The former manager of a Lincolnshire restaurant must pay more than $20,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to stealing customers’ identities to fund 15 trips to Walt Disney World.
Alexander Pera, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to felony aggravated identity theft and must serve six months in jail, Lake County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Cynthia Trujillo Vargas said.
Pera stole the identities of more than 50 customers and former employees when he managed Eddie Merlot’s restaurant in Lincolnshire, police said at the time of his July 2013 arrest.
He made off with more than $50,000, much of which was spent on 15 separate Walt Disney World Resort stays during five months, plus two cruises aboard Disney Cruise Line this past spring, police said.
Pera facilitated the crimes by providing fraudulent information to Disney and airlines when making travel plans, police said.
He made reservations using false names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, and paid for them with fraudulently obtained gift cards and pre-paid credit cards, purchased with stolen credit card numbers and cash, police said.
Pera was also sentenced to 30 months probation, and must pay more than $10,000 in restitution to Walt Disney World, Trujillo Vargas said.
He must also pay roughly $7,800 to Eddie Merlot’s, $1,700 to American Express and $430 to Citi Security and Investigative Services, she said.