As Grand Jury proceedings in the case against accused fraudster Dan “Busted Chef” Kaufman begin this week, his sordid past in New England is rearing its head.
As the food monger awaits possible indictments on several counts including identity theft, Kaufman’s track record in Vermont suggests that this is not the first time he’s been thought to be involved in this type of mischief.
Last year, while following up on a couple of tips BHB received about him, it was discovered that in 2006 he charmed himself into the position of Chief Financial Officer for a light manufacturing firm in Vermont (they wished to remain anonymous, since they feel the incident was an embarrassment for them).
A representative for the manufacturing firm told BHB last year that Kaufman managed to gain the trust of the company’s CEO and founder, despite lacking the proper background for the position. The rep added that the Busted Chef also convinced the CEO that his other employees were defrauding him, while Kaufman himself allegedly plotted to defraud the company.
Unlike the drama unfolding in Brooklyn Heights this month, the Vermont company caught Kaufman in the act early, before he could do any serious damage. The representative told BHB that they discovered suspicious corporate credit card charges of about around $1200 allegedly made by Kaufman. The company contacted police and Kaufman reportedly fled Vermont. While a warrant was issued for his arrest, the company eventually dropped the charges, citing the relatively small amount that was claimed to have been stolen and avoiding further embarrassment.
Also during that year in Vermont, Kaufman managed to become a senior account manager for the web development company Propeller Media Works, where he claimed to have over 10 years of experience working at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. From the September 21st, 2006 edition of the Burlington Free Press:
Dan Kaufman has joined Propeller Media Works LLC — a Burlington Web design, marketing and application development firm — as a senior account manager. Before joining Propeller, Kaufman worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers for more than 10 years, where he served as a client relations team manager. Kaufman holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California Los Angeles, with a major in computer science.
The Brooklyn Grand Jury hearing Kaufman’s case is expected to render its recommendation on indictment next week.