Waitress Is Awed By Customer’s $5,000 Tip, But Then She Learns It Was Actually A ‘Revenge Tip’

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

Criminal … or evil genius?

A woman in New York allegedly left a $5,000 “revenge tip” on a $55 check with her boyfriend’s credit card.

She and her boyfriend got into an argument while on vacation in Florida, so naturally, the only solution was to steal thousands of dollars from him to make a point!

Michael Crane told police that he’d been arguing with his girlfriend, Serina Wolfe, because she wanted to use his credit card to buy a flight back home to New York.

So Serina allegedly took the credit card and used it to pay for an extravagant breakfast … with an extremely lavish tip.

At first, local news outlets covered this amazing story as an act of generosity.

The $5,000 was supposedly a “nice pick me up” from a kind customer.

But Michael told officials that the huge tip was actually an act of revenge. Serina was “drunk or trying to get back at him,” he claims.

So what happens to that $5,000 tip now?!

This is an impressively bold scam.

Suspect Serina Wolfe, 24, reportedly got into an argument with her boyfriend Michael Crane while they were on vacation in Clearwater, Florida.

She asked to use his credit card to buy a plane ticket home to New York.

Michael apparently said no, they fought, and he put a hold on his credit card.

On June 27, he removed the hold — and Serina allegedly took the card to the Clear Sky Beachside Café to pay for her breakfast.

The tab came to about $55.

A normal tip on a $55 tab would be about $11, if you’re going with the 20% rule. Serina, though, opted to add a $5,000 tip to the bill.

At first, the waitress just assumed it was her very lucky day.

The story made headlines, because hello, who leaves a $5,000 tip?! Plus, the waitress’s dog had just passed away, so the large tip was perceived to be an act of extreme goodwill.

It wasn’t until later that Michael’s police statement came to light.

He told officials that the $5,000 tip was, in fact, an act of revenge against him for the argument over the credit card. Serina was “drunk or trying to get back at him,” he said. Serina didn’t show any signs of drug or alcohol intoxication, though, according to the arrest affidavit.

At first, Serina “denied making the purchase,” but she later confessed to making the charge during a police interview.

A police officer said that Serina “voluntarily handed me the card and said, this is the one I used to pay the $5,055.37 tab,” according to Norfolk Daily News.

Officers arrested Serina and took her to the county jail, and she now faces charges of grand theft. She was ordered to have no contact with Michael. So much for that trip back to New York!

As for the $5,000 tip? Michael reported the charge as fraudulent, but by that time, the restaurant had already paid out the waitress for the entire tip.

She must have been OVERJOYED. Waitresses often get stiffed by customers, so this would have been a very welcome change of pace.

But the Clearwater Police Department says that it’s up to the restaurant to decide whether or not the waitress gets to keep the tip.

Meanwhile, Serina was due to appear in court to enter a plea to the grand theft charge, which is a felony. People reports that information on her lawyer is unavailable, and it’s unclear whether she showed up to court.

This is allegedly not Serina’s first brush with the law, though, nor is it her first time stealing money from a man. She apparently is a seasoned scammer.


In 2017, she was arrested for stealing a man’s wallet after meeting him in a bar. When she was arrested, she reportedly had over $500 stashed in her underwear.

With the $5,000 tip, though, Serina basically just invented a new method of revenge.

She’s definitely an evil genius.