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Philly bar owner tapped stolen credit cards for $87,000

The owner of the Brown Street Pub pleaded guilty in July.

The Brown Street Pub
The Brown Street PubRead more(COURTESY PHOTO)

A Fairmount bar owner was sentenced Tuesday to 3½ years in federal prison for racking up more than $87,000 in fraudulent credit card charges at his pub.

Michael Hoffner Sr. of Voorhees pleaded guilty in July to wire fraud, admitting that between September and December 2012 he used stolen credit card numbers 40 times to make charges at his bar, the Brown Street Pub.

U.S. District Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg also imposed a three-year term of supervised release and ordered Hoffner, 52, to pay $87,060 in restitution and forfeit $82,643 in proceeds.

The charges were made to credit and debit cards issued by American Express, Navy Federal Credit Union, USAA, ACNB and the State Employees Credit Union of Maryland.  The average charge was more than $2,000, authorities said, and cardholders were not aware of the charges. The proceeds went into a bank account controlled by Hoffner, prosecutors said.

In July, prosecutors told the judge that Hoffner had been warned by at least two credit card companies of the high number of disputed charges at his bar, but he maintained that the tabs had been legally incurred by the cardholders for parties hosted there.

The bar, at 795 N. 24th St., was renamed Fairmount & Co. last year, but is listed online as the North 24th Street Restaurant and Bar. Before it changed names, it maintained a three-star rating on Yelp, with customers praising its beer selection and dive bar atmosphere.