Busted Chef Chronicles Part 2: A Vermont Story

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.

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  • Andrew Porter

    I was told the story made National Public Radio — NPR — this morning (Tuesday) but I didn’t hear it.

  • No One Of Consequence

    This NY Post article still says he’s the owner:

    The sign in the window is frickin’ hilarious!

    “Busy Chef opened last spring, and it quickly became popular with a growing segment of Brooklynite: the harried office worker who appreciated the shop’s prepared, single-serving dinners.”
    Yes, oh so popular with the BHB crowd.

    My $20 wager that he jumps bail is still open to any takers. Cash only. At least the judge made someone else post it, not himself, but I wonder whether he gave her the funds in the first place.

  • Same as Boston

    Dan Kaufman is a pathological liar,cheater and dead-beat dad. Maybe someone should email all of the shameless restaurant posts to his girlfriend. I’m sure that he is denying all wrong doing and blaming everyone else for what is happening to him. I would love to tell his girlfriend a few stories about Dan! I’m sure after that she will regret putting up bail and get away from him as fast as she can!

  • http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/2901#comments just curious

    dead-beat dad??? how many kids does he have??

  • curiouser

    Do we know if he jumped bail yet?

  • Cranky

    Wow, the girlfriend should have her head examined. Jeez, wave buh by to 50K. yikes.

  • nabeguy

    His girlfriend should have taken a tip from Dan by freezing her own dough and letting him to chill in the cooler.

  • 10596g

    wonder if the girlfriend was in on the whole scheme too…

  • Jazz

    1059g, I’m sure she had No Reservations about helping him.

  • limey

    Does anyone have a link to all of those shameless restaurant posts, they seem to have been taken down from the site?

  • in the know

    Another business that Dan ran into the ground…and was probably doing the same thing!


  • HorsesMouth

    If the past is any indication, I doubt the GF is in on it, probably just grossly misplaced trust.


    I can tell you that I know I am just one of many people that he screwed over in Vermont. Dan convinced me to cash two checks for him that he received from “designing a website” since he had “lost his wallet” in NYC the weekend before. He needed cash because he told me he was let go from him job at Propeller for doing consulting work while at the job. I later found out another local company informed the owners that he was a con-artist.

    I am still out the $800 that I cashed for him, although he did ask me to come pick up his flatscreen TV as collateral until he could pay me. Too bad there is a rent – a – center sticker on it. Wonder who is paying for it.

    I have heard rumors that there is another girl with kids who was taken worse than I was. He moved in with her and pocketed their rent money for a few months and were evicted. Who knows how many other people out there he has screwed over.

  • bob williams

    this is all b.s. the lawyer is the one who committed the fraud and has a ponzi scheme which is ripping off a lot of people. he gets new “business partners”, has them invest in him, then he turns arounds and claims some fraud, has the partner/investor arrested, then disolves the business.

    the lawyer is a scam artest. if it smells like poo, its probably crappy