Former NH restaurant owner admits wire fraud

March 28, 2013, 1:05 pm

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A former New Hampshire restaurant owner admits he committed wire fraud by using customers' credit card information to bilk more than $200,000.

Brian Pearson pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Thursday to wire fraud.

From late 2009 until the spring of 2011 Pearson owned and operated Bella Sol restaurant in Portsmouth. But court documents show he was vexed by money problems throughout that time period — pleading guilty in 2010 to passing bad checks and often failing to pay the restaurant's rent.

In his plea agreement, Pearson admitted to making 1,400 unauthorized charges to the credit cards of 250 of the restaurant's patrons. He obtained the credit card information from the restaurant's point-of-sale system.

He faces a maximum of up to 20 years when sentenced July 8.

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