Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Parsippany restaurant owner Spyridon Gizas, 53, was sentenced to five years in New Jersey State Prison today by the Honorable Peter J. Vazquez, J.S.C. for his role in a credit card fraud scheme.
“Even though I argued for a longer sentence, I am satisfied with the outcome. Financial crimes are not victimless crimes. Sentencing this defendant to five years sends a clear message that this is a serious offense which warrants significant prison time,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Portia Downing, who noted that Gizas has five prior felony convictions.
On December 15, 2011, Gizas, the owner of Harold’s Deli in Parsippany, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud, four counts of credit card fraud and four counts of theft by deception by an Essex County jury. The jury found Gizas guilty after an hour of deliberation.
The conviction stemmed from incidences that occurred on Oct. 16 and Oct. 17, 2009 in which Gizas charged nearly $40,000 to American Express using stolen credit card numbers, according to Assistant Prosecutor Downing, who tried the case.
American Express paid the bills within 48 to 72 hours, as is the company’s practice, but when the customers received the charges they called the credit card company and said they had never made purchases at the deli, Assistant Prosecutor Downing said.