Fundraiser scam costing Texas Roadhouse hundreds of dollars

Texas Roadhouse in Harlingen is shoveling out chicken plates by the dozen, but they are not making any money off of them.

"It's going to end up costing me hundreds of dollars," said manager Rick Lopez.

Texas Roadhouse got caught up in an apparent scam, one that involved a woman named Dee Dee looking for help raising money for a sick child.

Lopez met her 3 months ago when she approached the Roadhouse in Harlingen for help after another restaurant had allegedly backed out on her.

"She was selling Bar-B-Q plates for a 5 year old daughter who had cancer. The deal fell through with another restaurant so we told her we would help her out. We'll cook it for you, slice it up and you can come by and pick it up."

Their part in her project was done when she picked up the food, but Lopez says Dee Dee allegedly started up another fundraiser months later involving Bar-B-Q plates for 6 and even 7 dollars each scheduled for Friday July 15th.

The plates were to be picked up at Windsor Park in Harlingen, but there were no people, no grill and no food.

All that the angry crowd who showed up for lunch had to go on was the name of the sponsor listed on the tickets.

"Their first phone call was to us because of what the ticket said."

In big bold letters, Texas Roadhouse.

Action 4 News tried calling Dee Dee at a number she gave Lopez, but the line had been disconnected.

Since the woman behind the scam flew the coop, Lopez felt obligated to step in and honor those bogus tickets even if Texas Roadhouse was the biggest victim in the whole scheme.

"We've tried to develop a good reputation in Harlingen and something like that can tarnish it."

Harlingen police are investigating several reports made by people who bought the tickets and have yet to track down the woman named Dee Dee.

Lopez had given away over 60 plates to people with the fake tickets in just 2 hours.