KINGSTON — A body piercer was arraigned Wednesday on charges he sold bogus tattoo gift certificates.
Police allege Ryan Edward Rydzfski, 26, stole gift certificates from Dragons Den Tattoo, where he formerly worked, and advertised the certificates for sale on Facebook and craigslist.com.
Rydzfski sold a $500 certificate for $150 and kept the cash, police said. Police also allege Rydzfski kept $100 he took from a woman interested in an apprenticeship at the tattoo shop.
He was arraigned by District Judge Paul Roberts in Kingston on three counts of theft, two counts of forgery and a single count of criminal attempt. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $25,000 bail.
On its Facebook page, Dragons Den had warned customers of the bogus gift certificates as early as February.
According to the criminal complaint:
Dragons Den owner Shannon Cragle told police on March 13 that Rydzfski had stolen gift certificates from his business and sold them. Cragle provided police with copies of conversations of Rydzfski trying to sell the certificates on Facebook.
Police said they found advertisements selling gift certificates to Dragons Den and 570 Tattoo on craigslist.com.
Samantha Kolesnik told police she paid Rydzfski $150 for a $350 certificate to Dragons Den, only to find out on Facebook the certificate was a scam, the complaint says.
Police said in the complaint that Angelique Lopez on March 12 paid Rydzfski $100 to start an apprenticeship at Dragons Den. Lopez learned on Facebook that Rydzfski was no longer working at Dragons Den and was unsuccessful in getting her money back.
Rydzfski allegedly told police he sold two certificates from Dragons Den, using the money to buy heroin, and used a computer at Dragons Den to draft bogus certificates for 570 Tattoo, according to the complaint.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled on April 16.