Man Ripped Off Swanky Miami Beach Hotel for $174,000: Authorities

James Peter Sabatino allegedly reserved five rooms and ordered $100,000 worth of champagne.

Wednesday, Oct 2, 2013  |  Updated 10:46 AM EDT
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James Sabatino, who is charged with grand theft for racking up a $174,000 bill at a aMiami Beach hotel he allegedly didn't pay, appears in bond court before Judge Victoria Brennan.

James Sabatino, who is charged with grand theft for racking up a $174,000 bill at a aMiami Beach hotel he allegedly didn't pay, appears in bond court before Judge Victoria Brennan.

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A South Florida man was arrested after authorities said he spent weeks living in a swanky Miami Beach hotel, drinking champagne and ringing up a $174,000 bill he never paid.

James Peter Sabatino, 36, was arrested Saturday on charges of first-degree grand theft and organized scheme to defraud. He was ordered held on an out of county warrant following his appearance in bond court Tuesday, and it was unknown whether he has an attorney.


According to a Miami Beach Police report, Sabatino checked into the Hilton Miami Beach at 101 Ocean Drive back on Aug. 22, reserving five rooms for himself and his guests and telling the hotel to charge the rooms to the Sony Entertainment Corporate account.

By the time he checked out, almost five weeks later on Sept. 27, Sabatino had racked up an unpaid balance of $174,000, including over $100,000 of champagne, the report said.


During his appearance in bond court, prosecutors said hotel workers called Sony and discovered he didn't work for them.

Authorities said Sabatino is accused of ripping off other Miami Beach and Miami hotels for several thousand dollars.

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