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Per Se pays $500K to settle complaint it stiffed waiters

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NEW YORK — One of New York’s most expensive restaurants has agreed to settle a complaint that it added a 20 percent charge for banquets and failed to pass the extra cash on to the waiters.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the $500,000 settlement with Per Se on Thursday.

The settlement covers the period from January 2011 through September 2012. Schneiderman says Per Se added a 20 percent service charge for private banquets.

Schneiderman says the surcharge should have been paid to the waiters. But he says Per Se funneled the money back to restaurant operations instead.

Per Se says in a statement that the failure to pass the surcharge on to waiters was an unintentional oversight.

The restaurant’s owners say they have been in compliance with state law since September 2012.