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Police seek restaurant owner

April 22, 1999

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The owner of a Martinsburg restaurant is wanted on an arrest warrant charging him with running up almost $30,000 on a falsified credit card, according to West Virginia State Police.

Police have been unable to find Taste of Italy owner Giuseppe Cincinnato and have asked federal authorities to revoke the work visas and passports for Cincinnato and his immediate family, said State Police Sgt. Jim Humphrey.

The arrest warrants for credit card forgery and fraudulent use of a counterfeit card were issued earlier this week after a police investigation of incidents dating back to October, when Cincinnato took over the restaurant on Edwin Miller Boulevard near Martinsburg.

Using credit card applications addressed to the restaurant's previous owner, someone obtained credit cards and used them to get almost $30,000 in cash advances from several banks, police said.

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Former Taste of Italy owner Carlo Spinelli received the bills but told police he had never asked for the credit cards.

Police said one of the credit cards was used to obtain an airline ticket out of the country.

Humphrey said police believe Cincinnato is still in West Virginia or a nearby state.

Taste of Italy was closed Thursday and attempts by the Morning Herald to reach Cincinnato were unsuccessful.

Police are also investigating a customer's complaint that her credit card was double-billed when she ate at the restaurant.

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