DOCUMENT: Stupid, Crime

Felony Charge Dropped In $5000 Tip Case

After quarrel, woman used beau's credit card

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Tip Case Dropped

SEPTEMBER 16--Prosecutors have dropped a felony charge filed against a New York woman who, following a quarrel with her boyfriend, used his credit card to add a $5000 tip to her dinner tab at a Florida café, records show.

In a recent Circuit Court filing, an assistant state attorney reported that “the facts and circumstances revealed do not warrant prosecution at this time” of Serina Wolfe, a 24-year-old Buffalo resident.

While the “No Information” notice does not detail why the grand theft case was dropped, a prosecutor told TSG that Michael Crane, who is now Wolfe’s ex-boyfriend, did not want her prosecuted.

Pictured at right, Wolfe was arrested in July after using Crane’s Capital One Savor card to pay for a $55.37 meal, on top of which she added a $5000 tip for the waitress at a waterfront restaurant in Clearwater Beach.

Wolfe and Crane were vacationing in Florida when an argument flared about Wolfe “wanting a flight home to New York.” Crane told cops that after declining to pay for Wolfe’s airplane ticket, he “placed a hold on his credit card.”

Investigators alleged that when Crane subsequently released the hold on his plastic, Wolfe somehow obtained the credit card and used it for the retaliatory four-figure tip. Crane, who reported the charge as fraudulent, told police that he believed Wolfe was responsible for it, adding that she was “drunk or trying to get back at him.”

When confronted by investigators, Wolfe reportedly confessed and “voluntarily handed me the card and said this is the one I used to pay the $5055.37 tab,” a cop reported

Crane, a prosecutor told TSG, made good on the $55.37 restaurant charge and gave a retroactive $300 tip to the waitress (who was not allowed to pocket Wolfe's original $5000 tip).

Though the felony grand theft case against Wolfe has been closed, her summer sojourn to the Sunshine State did result in a criminal conviction. A few days after her arrest for the credit card caper, Wolfe was busted in Clearwater on an open container charge. The intoxicated tourist, cops reported, was spotted walking with an open can of Bud Light Orange beer. She was found guilty earlier this month of that infraction and was fined $118.

Wolfe could not be reached for comment. A call to the cellphone listed for her in police reports results in a recorded message indicating that the number has been changed, disconnected, or is no longer in service. (2 pages)