Fellini Cafe

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INFORMANT's picture
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Last seen: 34 weeks 6 days ago
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"When dining at Fellini, rumor has it check your credit card bill when it arrives if that is how you pay, and isn't THAT inconvenient? Mistakes happen, but check it out.... "

Absolutely agree with you, and let me explain why this happens :
Pinot (as you call him, and yes you are right, he must be corked) is giving away free complementary wine to the customers, but in the end every night in return he charges his servers for that alcoholic beverage's (San buca, amaretto and wine.

The wine is a $10.99 jug bottle and he makes every night 70% profit on that, that means with approx. 7 servers he makes $70.00 a night, $490.00 a week and $ 1960.00 a month, all tax-free of course !!

The reason that some of the servers are altering creditcardslips is so that they can be reimbursed for the money that Pinot steals from them. I know this establishment very well and I can tell you that he makes approx. $6000.00 on a good Friday or Saturday night.
And this is not all, he’s also stealing additional money from his employees, he takes everyday 10% from the sales (that means if a server makes a sale of $500.00 he must give $10 from his tips to Pinot).

He's cash register is like his own ATM machine, I still don't understand how the owner can give free wine to the customers and then in return charging his own employees for the wine ??? Isn’t that illegal ??

There are a lot of things wrong in this establishment and to call this place shady would be wrong, the exact definition would be “criminal”.

I know this establishment very well and I like to ask anybody out there (lawyers, authorities etc.) how we can stop him to steal money from his own employees.
Please come forward and help us !

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LexoTime5's picture
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Last seen: 45 weeks 3 days ago
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Are you a Fellini employee? Walk a few doors down from Fellini to that spy shop, and wire yourself up to record an evening's worth of your conversations on the job. With a little ingenuity you may well be able to capture evidence of some provocative behavior.

UPDATE: I add the warning that chips provides below. All parties of a conversation must consent prior to being recorded in Pennsylvania.

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bobguzzardi's picture
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I think recording converstions without the permission of all participants is illegal in Pennsylvania and this is something taken seriously by the authorities. Mostly because of politicians and thier allies fear their words being recorded. Nevertheless, do not do this. Go to Liquor Control Board or there is State office that handles employment matters.

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carla's picture
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See, this is where I agree with LexoTime5. But I would say if they are doing something illegal, go to the police and ask them who you can talk to. Only you can do that for you.

If you are an employee and you know something is really wrong, don't put yourself in the position of being taken down with the owner - for the pittance he pays you, it is not worth it. You can also go to the PA LCB directly:

PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE:

TO REPORT LIQUOR LAW VIOLATIONS:
PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE - BUREAU OF LIQUOR CONTROL ENFORCEMENT
TOLL-FREE HOT LINE
24 HOURS A DAY
800-932-0602

CONTACT THE DISTRICT ENFORCEMENT OFFICE AT THE LOCATION NEAREST YOU AT:
PHILADELPHIA 215-726-6200
WILKES-BARRE 570-826-2370
HARRISBURG 717-541-7961
PITTSBURGH 412-548-2050
ALTOONA 814-693-6200
WILLIAMSPORT 570-433-3959
PUNXSUTAWNEY 814-938-0565
ERIE 814-217-0001
ALLENTOWN 484-519-4500

_____________________________________________________________
L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

bobguzzardi's picture
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Last seen: 42 weeks 3 days ago
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Good advice. It would not be wise to try to handle this privately. Law enforcement is a profession. Let the professionals handle it. The Liquor Control Board is cumbersome but it will act. Also, contact your local State Rep. Tim Briggs. He is responsive and even Sen Leach could be helpful.

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chips's picture
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"INFORMANT": DO NOT SECRETLY TAPE CONVERSATIONS.

In Pennsylvania secretly taping conversations is a crime. While in many states all it takes is one person knowing that a conversation is being taped, in PA the law is, with few exceptions, that everyone needs to be informed that they are being recorded.

Go to the cops and get on the record.

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LexoTime5's picture
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It's not necessary to record secretly in order to bring bad behavior to light. Of course I advise informing and gaining consent from subjects in a recorded conversation. Thanks, Chips, for the warning.

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dmuth's picture
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Hi,

I've bumped your post to the front page.

As others have said, please do not record conversations yourself. Go to the police and/or the PA LCB and let them handle it.

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politeia's picture
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Feel free to audio or Videotape Police During a Traffic Stop - whether secretly or not. Just confirm first that the police are audio or videotaping you, which just about all cops do these days (though in certain cases, such as when the LM Police shot and killed Erin Forbes, tapes from several police cars will disappear or malfunction all at once).

As a matter of fact, I'd be curious as to what the postion of the LM commissioners is on citizens videotaping police stops, but if anyone were to ask, don't expect a response.

Also note that if you want to get out of the ticket or possibly avoid points, it is best not to tape but rather suck up and kiss rear.

As I have learned, if you don't kiss rear, certain judges like Kathleen Valentine will not only automatically side with the police, but will also give an appearance of impropriety with the police in her court that is unethical and violates her code of conduct.

=================

Brotherhood of Thieves

~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

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chips's picture
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Drug suspect turns tables on NYPD with videotape #video http://bit.ly/WxzRl

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LexoTime5's picture
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Here's a better link to that story:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/13/jose-maximo-colon-turn-ta_n_215275.html

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politeia's picture
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The difference is that in New York City and Philadelphia the government and the criminal justice system takes action against criminal behavior by law enforcement. Those large police departments have separate Internal Affairs divisions whose job it is to root out corruption and illegal behavior by cops. They get promotions for rooting out illegal behavior by cops. In smaller police forces like Lower Merion, they police themselves, and "ratting" on a bad cop will end a career. This happened recently in LM when a good cop told on a bad cop for fabricating traffic violation information (not related to me, but this has been documented). The bad cop was fired, but the good cop was forced to quit due to the animosity of the rest of the police force for "ratting" on a corrupt cop. Thus, in townships like Lower Merion without a civilian review board to accept anonymous complaints of police misconduct, it is career suicide for a good cop to tell on a bad cop within the police chain of command. I have written every Lower Merion commissioner about this in the past and have received no response and no changes in procedure have occurred that would not make it career suicide for a good cop to tell on a bad cop. Thus, the cycle of covering up police misconduct within the department perpetuates itself (and I believe most LM cops start out as good cops, but it is easy to become part of the problem when the problem is part of the culture).

In Lower Merion and Montgomery County the township, the commissioners, the D.A. and judges are also part of the problem.

It's actually a statewide thing. Those two judges in Luzerne County who were recently busted for receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks for illegally sending thousands of juvenile offenders to detention facilities when it was not called for so the private detention facilities could make more money? Everybody in Luzerne County seemed to know about it for the past few years, but it was covered-up until it hit the national news wires, and then the judges were finally arrested with everybody in Luzerne County saying: "What took so long?".

The problem is that a District Attorney needs judges on his/her side to win criminal cases. If D.A.'s go about investigating, let alone arresting judges, not only does it show how corrupt the system can be, but it harms the political career of a District Attorney.

Once it hit the national news wires, the D.A. in Luzerne County could then say "Hey, I had to take action and refer it to the Fed's with all this publicity". Until the publicity got out of hand, the D.A. in Luzerne County seemed perfectly happy to cover-up for the outrageous criminal conduct of two judges that ruined the lives of thousands of children.

=================

Brotherhood of Thieves

~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

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chips's picture
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Thanks LexoTime5!

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INFORMANT's picture
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Last seen: 34 weeks 6 days ago
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The wine is a $10.99 jug bottle and he makes every night 70% profit on that, that means with approx. 7 servers he makes $70.00 a night, $490.00 a week and $ 1960.00 a month, all tax-free of course !!

Correction : Of course I meant 700% profit and not 70% !

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carla's picture
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Last seen: 11 weeks 1 day ago
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Informant,
What is it you don't get? You need to go to the POLICE or the LCB. Writing on a blog is not going to solve anything.

Charging servers to pour alcohol as a "gift" since Fellini is a BYOB is against the law, but unless you grow a pair and go to the LCB as an informant or to the police, nothing will change, and all that is posted is words, capice?

It appears you are an employee, so if you know the scoop, go to the police and go to the LCB.

_____________________________________________________________
L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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dmuth's picture
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Last seen: 7 weeks 1 day ago
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What Carla said. Writing on a blog is a good first step -- it helps formulate your thoughts and is a good way to seek feedback from others.

But since you were there when some of this happened (i.e., a witness), it is you who needs to go to the police or the LCB. No one else can do this for you.

That said, if you do report Fellini and suffer some blowback, it should be obvious from the responses here so far that many of us feel that Fellini is a gigantic D-bag, and we'll gladly blog about anything foolish that Fellini might do.

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INFORMANT's picture
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Last seen: 34 weeks 6 days ago
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Thanks for the replies,

yeah yeah I know already about the whole recording law (I do mostly phone recordings) besides I don’t think that’s the way to go....The fact remains that he's stealing money from his employees every night ...I have seen so many kids working in this place , they come and go and don't care if they have to pay money to him, most of them are coming from very very wealthy families, don't like to put out any names yet but it seems an attraction to work for a mob scumbag who steals money from them every night because daddy is rich anyway...

The local police LMPD will refer this to the state police since alcohol/liquor is involved, but that will not help at all !!

It is labor law that must be involved, he is in violation of selling liqour and charging his own employees for those complementary drinks !!

And Carla,

here is why I don't even bother to involve the cop's, this is the response of the state police when asking about this particular issue :

Your email was routed to me for issuance of a complaint against the premises where you are employed. As I understand the situation, the "Café" provides complimentary alcoholic beverages to customers free of charge, but the employees of the "café" are required to pay to the employer a fee of $10.00 every day for the cost of the alcoholic beverages they serve.
First, there can be no additional cost to the customer for the alcoholic beverage(Drunk provided. In other words, a meal served with a glass of water and the same meal served with a glass of wine must cost the same to the customer. An additional charge to the customer for being served alcoholic beverages would constitute sales of alcohol without a license, and this would be illegal.
I know of no law in the PA Liquor Code, or in the PLCB Rules and Regulations, that prohibit an employer from charging a fee to waiters/servers to work there. If the waiter/server is required to "purchase: the alcoholic beverage being served in order to then provide it to their customer, I would consider that it may be illegal sales of liquor. But if the employer is charging the $10.00 to each server/waiter whether they serve alcoholic beverages or not, then I would consider that to be a charge to the employer for the privilege of working in that particular establishment. There may be labor laws prohibiting that charge by the employer, but I wouldn’t know about them. I could only suggest you contact the PA Labor Board and inquire to them if this is illegal or not.
Please respond to this email with more specific information as to whether the servers are being required to purchase this alcohol, or if there is any additional charge to the customers for the service of alcoholic beverages. Keep in mind that the employer can legally charge what is referred to as a corkage fee for serving the alcoholic beverages to the customer if the alcoholic beverages were brought to the Café by the customer.
Paul Smith Enforcement Officer Supervisor Pa State Police, Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement ( )
Allentown District Office
Phone (610) 366-0609
Fax (610) 871-2230

privilege of working in that particular establishment WHAT ?? ...can somebody explain that to me ??

I also have to mention that I care about my money that I loose every day with him, and less about the alcohol - although this is of course a very important issue.

Also there is a police commissioner which is a great customer here (and no he's not from lower merion).

So you see it's a nowayout situation , there must be a different way to enforce the law...However the internet is already a good start, there is also a thread on the phillyblogwebsite :

http://www.phillyblog.com/philly/showthread.php?t=27618

that topic was already hit over 3000times..

I also did talk to some couple of attorneys and so far it always points to the same directions : walk or start this longway lawsuit and invest money, once you win they are gone to south Italy and no $$$$.....
Besides one of them which was the manager of Fellini cafe on walnut street is already on the list of the FBI !!
capice !!!

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carla's picture
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Informant:
You wrote:

The local police LMPD will refer this to the state police since alcohol/liquor is involved, but that will not help at all !!

It is labor law that must be involved, he is in violation of selling liqour and charging his own employees for those complementary drinks !!

I am short on patience today, but I am tired of dancing this dance. Did you go to the LMPD? Because if you did not, and unless you are psychic you don't know what they are going to do or say.

You also have the choice of going to the investigative arms of local TV stations and asking for help. NBC10 is technically in Lower Merion I think, so start with the NBC10 investigators.

Come out of the closet and write a letter to the paper and sign your name and say "I am an employee, and I think this is wrong".

Turn them into Harrisburg via your State Rep or State Senator, but at the end of the day, it is YOUR choice to continue to work there if the environment is so bad. Why not go to another restaurant?

And I am NOT comfortable with the following statement:

Besides one of them which was the manager of Fellini cafe on walnut street is already on the list of the FBI !!
capice !!!

The Walnut St Fellini is CLOSED, right? And unless you work for the FBI or have irrefutable proof, I would watch myself throwing THAT statement around.

I think Fellini Cafe in Ardmore is disgusting, so I choose not to dine there as do most of my friends.

But if you are the one with the proof or wrong doing go to law enforcement. If law enforcement won't help, go to an ivestigative reporter.

most of them are coming from very very wealthy families, don't like to put out any names yet but it seems an attraction to work for a mob scumbag who steals money from them every night because daddy is rich anyway...
....Also there is a police commissioner which is a great customer here (and no he's not from lower merion).

But honestly, you are starting to sound like you are going off the reservation with the mob references, etc.

I am not going to respond after this. You are on your own.

_____________________________________________________________
L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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carla's picture
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Speaking of Fellini, they are like on the to 10 most visited list for the Montgomery County Board of Health - see Facility Name: Fellini Café, Inc.
License Number: A13407

Inspection Dates:
6/2/2009
5/19/2009
3/15/2009
3/14/2009
2/11/2009
12/26/2008
11/20/2008
8/27/2008
8/8/2008

_____________________________________________________________
L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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bobguzzardi's picture
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You are a real resource, Carla. Nice work.

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