Defendant Katie Gaton Posed as Hilton Employee, Stole Money from Victims Seeking Jobs

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the indictment of KATIA GATON, 41, for defrauding individuals by telling them that she worked at the Hilton New York and could secure for them jobs at the hotel for a fee. The defendant stole more than $13,600 from at least five victims. GATON is charged in a five-count indictment with Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, and Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree.[1]

“Taking advantage of people searching for work in a tough economy is reprehensible,” said District Attorney Vance. “New Yorkers should be very wary of any supposed job opportunity that requires the payment of advance fees. I urge anyone who has been a victim of scams like this to call my Office at (212) 335-8900.”

According to documents filed in court, GATON is charged with operating a scam in which she told at least five individuals that she worked at the Hilton New York, and for a fee she could secure for them jobs such as front desk assistants, bellhops, and housekeepers. In fact, GATON was never employed by the Hilton New York, and job applications for the hotel can be submitted on-line without charge.

As part of her fraudulent scheme, GATON told her victims that the jobs were well-paying, and that they would work 40-50 hours per week. After the victims paid GATON an initial “application fee,” she brought them to the hotel, purportedly for an interview with a hotel manager. Once at the Hilton New York, GATON had the victims sit in the lobby while she disappeared. She later returned to explain that the manager was unexpectedly “unavailable,” and that they would have to come back later. She gave some victims tours of the public areas of the hotel. GATON then gave excuses to put off another trip to the hotel. She told some victims that they would be starting work very shortly, even giving them start dates. She extracted more money out of the victims by telling them they had to purchase work uniforms and shoes. Victims each paid GATON between $1,500 and $5,700.

Assistant District Attorney Om Gillett is prosecuting this case, under the supervision of Special Prosecutions Bureau Chief Thomas Wornom and Deputy Bureau Chiefs Judy Salwen and Archana Rao. Senior Investigator Mark Duggan of the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau assisted in the investigation and arrest of the defendant, under the supervision of Chief Investigator John Bilich and Supervising Investigator Jose Flores.

District Attorney Vance thanked the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, specifically Bronx Assistant District Attorney Michelle Milanes, and Bronx District Attorney’s Office Senior Detective Investigator Juan Crosas-Medina for their assistance with the investigation.

DA Vance also thanked Anthony Spagnuolo, Director of Security and Safety at the Hilton New York, and Jennifer Tormey, Assistant Director of Human Resources at the Hilton New York for their assistance.

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defendant information:

KATIA GATON, D.O.B. 11/30/1970
New York, N.Y.

• Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 3 counts