For days, there has been much outrage on the blogosphere about a couple who refused to give a lesbian waitress a tip because they refused to support her “lifestyle.” Dayna Morales, an ex-Marine and server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, N.J., produced a receipt that said “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I don’t agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life.” People flocked to the restaurant to leave big tips for Morales and she received national acclaim for donating the tips to the Wounded Warrior charity. Now the couple has come forward and claims that it is all a hoax. Worse yet, they say that they have proof.
Morales put the receipt on her Facebook page and it went viral. If the couple is telling the truth, this was a claim to victimization that quickly snowballed into an international story.
The New Jersey couple says that they saw the story and were flabbergasted. They say that they support same-sex marriage and voted against Chris Christie because he did not. More importantly, they left an $18 tip, which by the way appears the standard 20 percent since the entire payment for the meal was $111.55. They have the receipt as well as a credit card receipt for the amount of $111.55.
The restaurant is investigating but could not produce the original receipt. I am not sure the VISA bill would answer the question since it would not show the division of the meal and tip amounts. As for the original receipt, that would be highly probative. They say that their receipt shows both the original amount and the added tip. Notably, the receipt produced by Morales shows the amount of $93.55. IF the VISA shows $111.55, that would be pretty damning evidence.
The question is, if true, what is the potential liability for Morales beyond losing her job. As we have discussed with regard to the Stolen Valor Act, there is a first amendment protection for lying. However, you do not have a protected right to commit fraud. If the couple is telling the truth, Morales is wise to donate the proceeds. If she did not financially gain from the tips, a fraud claim can be more difficult to establish. That raises the possibility that even the donation to charity may not have been what it seemed. Again, this is assuming that the couple is the wronged party. We have not heard from Morales. There are also statutory provisions that might be stretched by prosecutor to fit the alleged crime like the following:
2C:21-4. Falsifying or tampering with records
a. Except as provided in subsection b. of this section, a person commits a crime of the fourth degree if he falsifies, destroys, removes, conceals any writing or record, or utters any writing or record knowing that it contains a false statement or information, with purpose to deceive or injure anyone or to conceal any wrongdoing.
It could also raise an interesting forgery case since she was allegedly forging the writing of the couple (though they were not named in the stories). Here is the New Jersey code provision:
2C:21-1 – Forgery and Related Offenses
a.Forgery. A person is guilty of forgery if, with purpose to defraud or injure anyone, or with knowledge that he is facilitating a fraud or injury to be perpetrated by anyone, the actor:
(1)Alters or changes any writing of another without his authorization;
(2)Makes, completes, executes, authenticates, issues or transfers any writing so that it purports to be the act of another who did not authorize that act or of a fictitious person, or to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case, or to be a copy of an original when no such original existed; or
(3)Utters any writing which he knows to be forged in a manner specified in paragraph (1) or (2).
“Writing” includes printing or any other method of recording information, money, coins, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, trademarks, access devices, and other symbols of value, right, privilege, or identification, including retail sales receipts, universal product code (UPC) labels and checks. This section shall apply without limitation to forged, copied or imitated checks.
As used in this section, “information” includes, but is not limited to, personal identifying information as defined in subsection v. of N.J.S.2C:20-1.
b.Grading of forgery. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be part of an issue of money, securities, postage or revenue stamps, or other instruments, certificates or licenses issued by the government, New Jersey Prescription Blanks as referred to in R.S.45:14-14, or part of an issue of stock, bonds or other instruments representing interest in or claims against any property or enterprise, personal identifying information or an access device. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be a check. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be 15 or more forged or altered retail sales receipts or universal product code labels.
Otherwise forgery is a crime of the fourth degree.
– See more at: http://statutes.laws.com/new-jersey/title-2c/section-2c-21/2c-21-1#sthash.ZaUqJKBx.dpuf
Then there is the question of the restaurant and whether, beyond firing Morales if the story is proven to be true, it could seek damages to its reputation etc. My guess is that it would not seek such a case even if it could make out the elements.
Finally, there are all those people who gave enhanced tips to support Morales. Theoretically, they could try a class action against the restaurant for its failure of investigation. The restaurant promised to match donations but did not, it appears, check the receipts or charges. It would be a tough case, however. This is particularly due to Morales’ promise to donate tips to a charity. Thus, the customers knew that they were giving money to charity, even if the impetus of the visit was allegedly fraudulent.
Then there is the couple. Morales told ABC that the wife of the couple insulted her when she first introduced herself. That basically says that the customers are bigots and would raise defamation potential. However, they were not named and have kept their names out of the press. Even for a defamation per quod case, it would be weak to establish damages.
The most immediate issue for Morales is criminal liability, though prosecutors could use their discretion in not pursuing the case. Fraud and forgery would be difficult due to the donation of tips as noted above. In a strange way, it is very similar to the Stolen Valor cases. Instead of benefiting socially by claiming to be a decorated hero, she allegedly made herself into a social hero under false pretenses. While we have seen various cases of prosecuted fraud for people collecting money under false claims that they are dying or have lost a loved one (here and here and here and here and here and here), these people are usually found to have pocketed the money. There is the question of whether she had any travel paid for by the media for hotels or flights etc. That would constitute a benefit for establishing the elements of crimes like fraud. Any book deals or movie deals, including early rights payments, would obviously be sufficient. State law actually contains a broad definition of benefit, including benefiting others:
“Benefit derived” means the loss resulting from the offense or any gain or advantage to the actor, or coconspirators, or any person in whom the actor is interested, whichever is greater, whether loss, gain or advantage takes the form of money, property, commercial interests or anything else the primary significance of which is economic gain.
In the end, if the story is proven true, Morales could walk with simply the ignobility of the disclosure of the hoax. I have written before that such social isolation and condemnation is sufficient in Stolen Valor cases where no money was accepted. For people who want to be heroes, the status as a social pariah is a heavy sanction. She allegedly not only undermined the claims of true discrimination victims but used the fight of equality to benefit herself. Morales would not require a criminal charge to feel the judgment of society in such a case.
141 thoughts on “New Jersey Couple: Story of Lesbian Waitress Denied Tip Due To Her Lifestyle Is A Hoax”
DavidM, Yes, Nice for 2 nights. I’ll give you a report. Maybe I should take some hostage type photos, holding a local Nice newspaper to prove I’m there! What the hell is up w/ that??? A day trip to Cannes and Monaco also on the itinerary. We were going to Switzerland nut it’s ski season and the French Riviera is off season. Got some very nice hotels for $125-150/night.
RobinH45, I live in AZ and I work for a bank. When you go to a restaurant, they bring you the bill, you put your card in the folder, they take it and run it to create the charge slips. This is when the hold is put on your account. You then add the tip amount and sign the form. At this point, they no longer have the card to run anything. If you use online banking – the next time you get home from a meal out – look up your account and you will see a pending charge for the amount before the tip. That tip amount gets added after the hold – most likely using the transaction number.
You mean immigrants had to work….. From what I read here they live the life to be envied…. They drive Mercedes… Have insurance…. Housing…. Money to go to casinos….. You name it they get it….. Now, that’s what I read here….from some….
In reality I know the case to be in almost all instances…. The illegals they claim just take…. Are actually the hardest workers you’ll ever find…. They do jobs that we would not consider ….
Funny thing…. The reason we have workers compensation laws…. It’s because of the robber baron railroad owners….. There was plenty of raw labor supply…. If they got injured…. Oh well…. They couldn’t work…. But they still had families to feed….. If they died oh well…. There were plenty more…. Congress acted to assure a form of subsidy to the families of the dead ones and at least something for the injured ones….. Imagine living in those times….
Or housing garment workers in a locked building and paying piecemeal labor….. Oh yeah…. I’ve heard about that happening recently…..
Imagine that… Times have changed…. But work conditions really haven’t…..
There’s a farmer where I live who keeps his workers’ wages and doles out an allowance. Otherwise, according to him, “they’d just run through it with nothing to show for it.” They hand wash their work clothes, share a falling down trailer, and drive a tractor from field to field, with no other transportation. They are completely at their employer’s mercy. I’d turn him in, but the workers’ lives would probably be much worse.
Yeah. They’re living it up.
I have also argued against Nick’s being banned–despite the fact that he often tries to instigate arguments–not real discussion/debates. I recently wrote a post about the Common Core–educational standards adopted by most of our states. I used more than thirty sources in my research of the subject and found that there were myriad critics of the standards on both the left and the right. Still, I was accused of “shamelessness and hypocrisy”…and of “saying to hell w/ black students and parents.” I ignored his comment because I felt he was attempting to stir up the pot.
Nick’s always talking about his blue collar immigrant roots. I guess my blue collar immigrant roots don’t count…as far as he is concerned. He perceives me as coming from “white privilege.” Imagine that–a first generation American whose father worked in leather factories and whose mother was a garment worker being told she comes from the privileged class.Go figure!
Not to jump on the band wagon…. But for about three weeks I actually read your posts…. Once the flaming started…. I was like out of it…. Play nice…. Attack the subject at hand…. You remind me of the want to be star academic…. That acts up to show how smart they are…. You can do it…. You have been…. So suit up and do your best….
Yes indeed I do Gene.
Also, Mike isn’t lying about arguing against your banning. He indeed did argue against it. How do I know this? Because I was part of the exchange and arguing for it as were other GBs. Not for the reasons you might think though. It wasn’t personal for any of those arguing for despite you giving them ample reason. The focus was on the toxicity you continue to inject into this forum with your petty recalcitrant seemingly irresistible ad hominem attacks and bullying behavior in attempting to assert your dominance like a dog who uncontrollably pees on the furniture with guests sitting on it. Like I’ve said before, I know how this story ends. You’ve walked out on to the thin ice yourself. Perhaps is it your minimal intelligence or lack of self awareness that prevents you from realizing this fact even when people tell you that you are on thin ice. I am a very patient man. Time and gravity will either take care of you or you’ll change your ways and walk to more stable footing. Either way, it makes no difference to me. The outcome is the still the same. Your bad behavior will one day end for good one way or another and, either way – reformation or banning, it’ll be by your own hand.
You are your own worst enemy, nick.
Adapt or perish.
Personally, I don’t think adaptation is in your skills set.
One must be able to learn to adapt.
Some things are manifest. If your memory is failing or impaired, it’s not my problem. Annie remembers you attacking me for no other reason than I answered her question. Look it up yourself, sport.
“The liar was the hottest to defend his veracity, the coward his courage, the ill-bred his gentlemanliness, and the cad his honor”
― Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
“The liar’s punishment is, not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.”
― George Bernard Shaw, The Quintessence of Ibsenism
Mike, Both you and Gene whined last night that I “attacked” you, which is clear evidence of projecting. When I asked both for evidence of “attacks” you changed the subject.
The NBA has instituted the “flop rule” this year. Whiner/victims constantly fall down and writhe in pain when there was not even any contact, these ham n’ eggers trying to claim they were fouled. You both got called for the “flop rule” last night and I’m sure will in the future.
You are lying about arguing against my banning.
I did argue against banning you and I did all along. I don’t like you Nick because you are a bully and a disingenuous person. You are dishonest in the way you handle yourself and even in your political stances. I also believe that your actions are detrimental to this blog and therefore to Professor Turley. However, because I don’t like you I feel constrained to call for banning you because I believe that even blowhards, braggarts and liars deserve to have their say and trust in our blogs readers to separate the phonies from the real people. Many who aren’t guest bloggers have chastised your behavior and rather than learning from it you demean them by accusing them of being manipulated. You show no self awareness of your own bad behavior and that makes you a very sad case.
Robin45 You don’t sound like yourself. You sound like another person or someone troubled. I restate my prayers and hopes for a better year.
that is a very interesting link to this waitress and her allegedly checkered past. Yikes.
I hope for however long you are with us that you live life to the fullest. Best wishes and prayers to you and your family.
Apparently this gal may just be trouble all around . . .
Have you ever known a pathological liar? I have. I friend of a friend from high school. He’d say all kinds of crazy crap to get attention. Even worse when he was off his meds. I’m not saying that’s the case here, but the Cheesecake Factory part of the story makes me wonder.
Check the blood flow Mikey. I’ve said twice we’ll be in Europe 12/3-14.I guess you’re just anxious for me to leave as you are to get me banned. Your using “liar” is a red flag. You’re an easy read. I will be in Europe and I won’t be banned, so deal w/ it.
I was one who argued against your banning. Which illustrates how much you bother me. It is typical of you that you reject Robin’s advice, because like all defenestrated bullies you always see yourself as the victim.
nick spinelli wrote: “I’ve said twice we’ll be in Europe 12/3-14.I guess you’re just anxious for me to leave as you are to get me banned. ”
Hey Nick. I think I remember you saying you would be going to Nice. If you get a chance to check in with us, let me know how you like it there. I will be in Northern Italy in March and I’m thinking about going to Nice, but there are other destinations vying for my attention.
Robin, My prayer for you is that however much time you have left on this earth that it is filled w/ love. I am sorry for your pain. Hopefully you have more Thanksgivings left. I disagree w/ your comment but I respect you and I’ll leave it @ that. If only everyone had your good heart this would be a better place and world.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE.. even those who are miseries best friends.. smh some people never learn or rather they learn but love the self made victim role so much.. they refuse to come out of it.
Nick come on when will you stop with the bullchyt? everytime mike or gene post a response correcting someone. and the person takes offense you jump on their bandwagon. just like a follower. and when you get put in your place you start howling about how you’re being attacked for no reason… GIVE IT A BREAK ALREADY.
what is really the problem with you? why is it you can’t mind your business nor keep it moving.. ex since mike s came out his mouth on me for posting my opinion and knowledge about what a particular sect of jews are up to and what they are to blame for.. i responded back to him said what i had to say. and that was it. he doesnt pay my bills nor i his. i read his blogs and comments respond when i feel a need and dont when i dont… because as i said back then. there is no need for he nor i to have anything to say to one another.. yet you constantly manage to get yourself into the middle of things that are none of your business.. and this time don’t attempt to give the pain bs. because my pain is probably the same as if not worse then yours… and yet i dont manage to get into it all the time on this blog. and you get into with 2 specific bloggers/commenters always. there is a deeper underlying issue with you…
What are you going to do when JT gets fed up with your crap and bans you? wait let me answer for you. you’re going to go around to all the other blogs on the internet and rant and rave about how gene and mike got you banned because you were more intelligent etc etc then them.. which will be and is bs….. come on nick CHILL OUT…you are kind and funny when you want to be. but no one is obligated to put up with you all the time. I have maybe a year left to live and that might be a stretch. debates are supposed to be learning experiences yet you turn them into arguments you did it yesterday with the commenter named annie… when will enough be enough?
as for david. lmao he doesnt get the real meaning of homophobe so let me enlighten him..
homophobe= a man or woman who has a bias/bigotry against gays and/or lesbians for no apparent reason except they are afraid of their own sexuality. most homophobes are closeted and use the biasness, anger, bs to keep their family and friends from figuring out their sexuality… case in point.. david spits out so called stats of gay people killing gays more then straights killing gays.. please explain to me how many other straight men would speak that bs? and where exactly is davids proof of these stats? there is no reason for him to bring up homosexuals all the time. expecially on articles that have nothing to do with homosexuals.. yet he manages to find a way always.
Davids life would be much less homophobic if he just gave up and in to who and what he really is. but he won’t because he cares more of what society thinks then how he feels and what he wants….
RobinH45 wrote: “as for david. lmao he doesnt get the real meaning of homophobe so let me enlighten him.. homophobe= a man or woman who has a bias/bigotry against gays and/or lesbians for no apparent reason except they are afraid of their own sexuality. … he cares more of what society thinks then how he feels and what he wants….”
LOL. The real meaning? The truth is that the term homophobe was not used when I was born. The term became popular in the 1970’s in gay magazines and among psychologists and sociologists. Today the term is flung around just like the N word was flung around with societal approval when I was a boy growing up in Mississippi. There is no one meaning at all, but various meanings for whoever wants to use the hateful word. The truth is that the term doesn’t apply to me in the least because I have no prejudice against homosexuals. Males commit more crimes than females do, and they represent a higher percentage of the prison population. Saying that doesn’t make me prejudice against males, and so mentioning similar type statistics about homosexuals does not make me prejudice against homosexuals. The problem is not me and my logical dealing with facts about homosexuals. The problem is you and people like Gene H and Mike S who are uncomfortable with facts. Their only defense to the truth is misdirection, and so they employ it at every opportunity by attacking people instead of the arguments they make. You are following their lead now by attacking Nick and me, and that is just sad.
Comments are closed.