Saturday, 2:15 PM
By Brian R. Ballou and Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff
Tod Schaffer broke his tooth on a piece of plastic in a salad at a Boston restaurant in October 2000. Schaffer's dentist determined that he needed a root canal on his front right tooth and handed him an estimate for how much the work would cost.
Schaffer never fixed the tooth, according to the state Attorney General's office. Instead, the Brookline man is accused of visiting 21 other chain restaurants in Boston over four years, armed with a small rock or a piece of glass that he slipped into salads. Schaffer would allegedly tell a waiter that he broke his tooth and come back with the estimate from the dentist, which had been falsified with a new date. The insurance companies of restaurants paid out 10 times, prosecutors allege, giving Schaffer a total of $36,000.
Schaffer, 42, shook his head from side to side and said "not guilty" when a prosecutor described the scheme today at his arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court. The Brookline man faces 19 counts of insurance fraud, 10 counts of larceny over $250, and 11 counts of attempted larceny over $250.
Schaffer declined to speak after he was released without bond, brushing past reporters wearing sunglasses and a dark sweater pulled over his head. His attorney, Robert Allen Jr., declined to discuss the case because he said he had not yet had time to review the facts.