January 26, 2013

Steakhouse Crime – Italian Tourist Jailed for Forgetting Wallet

Italian tourist Graziano Graziussi was arrested at New York steakhouse Smith & Wollensky, after forgetting his wallet at his hotel.

It was supposed to be a good evening for Italian tourist Graziano Graziussi. On his second night of a two week holiday in New York City, he had planned a nice dinner with a friend and perhaps a late night stroll through the city. Instead, he ended up in jail – arrested for forgetting his wallet at his hotel.
Mr Graziussi and his friend went to upscale steakhouse Smith & Wollensky, where a rib eye steak costs 50 dollars. Dinner went well, until it was time to pay the bill. “- The moment the check arrived, I realized that I had actually forgotten my wallet at my hotel,” says Mr Graziussi, “so I kindly asked the staff how we could manage the situation. I proposed to leave my iPhone with them, run back to the hotel and then come back with my wallet in 15 minutes.”
The maître d at Smith & Wollensky would hear nothing of such a deal. Instead, the restaurant instantly called the Police. “- I wasn’t worried. I thought that the Police would laugh at the situation and let me go get my wallet,” says Mr Graziussi. “But, they were pretty rough”, he continues, “they handcuffed me outside the restaurant and took me straight to jail like a criminal.”
“- Jail was horrible, jail is horrible for anybody, you’re behind bars, you are treated like an animal, for forgetting your wallet,” Mr Graziussi says.
The next morning, a judge dismissed the case against Mr Graziussi, but he had to promise to show up in court to pay the bill next week. Mr Graziussi says he will of course pay, something he intended all along, but he is very disappointed with how Smith & Wollensky handled the situation. “- I would have expected an upscale place like Smith & Wollensky to behave a bit more corteous to their customers. This really could happen to anybody, and it was an honest mistake, but they didn’t care,” says Mr Graziussi.
As for Mr Graziussi, he will never forget his wallet again while in New York. If you are heading to Smith & Wollensky anytime soon, you too should probably double check that you have yours with you, unless you want to spend a night at a much less fancy establishment.


  1. Smith & Wollensky are of course related to the Smiths of Tel Aviv.

  2. IF it had been McDonalds they would have tazed him first before jail so he actually got the royal tourist treatment.

  3. Let me share a similar experience that I had a few years past.
    My wife and I were on vacation for a week in Europe at the time. We had spent the week in a nice local hotel. When checking out of the hotel I discovered that I did not have my credit card to pay for the nearly 1000 dollar hotel bill.

    I explained to my situation to the hotel management. That is, I explained that I did not have any money to pay for the stay. I was expecting a very unpleasant circumstance. But, there is where my story differed from the one reported in this article.

    The hotel management simply presented me with the hotel bill and requested that we either fax or phone our credit card info to them after we returned home. We called in the card info and all ended well for all parties.

    I suppose the difference here is treatment of an American in Europe versus treatment of a European in America.

  4. Welcome to the united States of Orwell .

  5. Shame on the restaurant and shame on their director. Your gesture is the worst advertising you could have ever made. I wish this racist place will go bankrupt with the fees they will have to pay in compensation to the client. Bunch of idiots.

  6. I ate there 30+ years ago. Nice steak house. But terrible manners for a upscale place. Shame on them.
    Maybe they should ask for you credit card before you order. lol

  7. this is a very good place to eat. as for the guy who forgot his wallet? why is it that he has still not paid his bill?

    a tab at Smith and W is large, so stealing a dinner from there is substantially large.

    how do we know he really forgot his wallet? nobody goes there w/o a wallet. this whole "left my wallet in my other jacket" thing is just too old.

  8. Simple: let Smith & Wollensky eat their own overpriced shit ... see how long they will last ..
    I am sorry Graziano but the US is no longer a tourist destination.. it is an open air prison ..

  9. This restaurant should be boycoted until bankrupt.

  10. My no fly there list is.
    1 The US
    2 Libya
    3 Afghanistan

    But number one will be always the US