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Troubled tip — Questions about $3,000 left for waitress

There are now questions about whether a $3,000 tip left for a waitress earlier this year was real or part of a scam.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Earlier this summer, we told you about the very generous tip left for a waitress at Alfredo's Pizza in Scranton. Now, the restaurant owners say they're taking the big tipper to court.

Back in June, the staff at Alfredo's were shocked when a customer paid a $13 bill and left a $3,000 tip for his server Mariana Lambert. 

Managers at Alfredo's say they didn't think it was real, but when the credit card charge went through, they were singing the praises of Eric Smith. They say Smith told them he left the giant tip as part of a social media movement called Tips for Jesus. 

The staff say they were overwhelmed by his kindness, but now that feeling is turning dark.

"A little over a month ago, we received something in the mail that Eric was disputing the charge for the tip that he left," manager Zachary Jacobson said.

Managers at Alfredo's reached out to Smith in the hopes that this was a misunderstanding. The business had already paid Lambert the money from the tip, and now the business is out $3,000.

"We thought somebody was actually trying to do a good thing. And then now we are, what, three months later? Not even, and there's nothing. There's nothing to show for it at this point," Jacobson said.

Jacobson says they were communicating with Smith through Facebook, but he has now stopped answering messages. Now the business is taking him to court.

"It's just a little aggravating right now. It's been causing a lot of nonsense and drama. Unfortunately, we had to file charges through the magistrate's office because now we're just out of this money at this point. And he told us to sue him. so that's what we're going to end up doing, I guess," said Jacobson.

Jacobson hopes there is enough proof to get a judge to rule in their favor, but it doesn't change the fact that their feelings are tarnished by what was supposed to be something positive.

"I hope that he owns up to his actions and comes forth and does pay this because you shouldn't have done this if this was the end result."

We reached out to Eric Smith on social media about this situation. We received a reply saying that Smith wasn't available to talk on Tuesday but possibly at a later date.

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