Hale & Hearty, purveyor of affordable lunchtime soups and slinger of profanity-laden press releases, has run into another problem: Several employees at the cafe's midtown location were caught allegedly skimming the credit card numbers of customers, racking up a total of $90,000 in fraudulent purchases, the DA announced today.

According to an indictment, 39-year-old Gerald Spears allegedly gave his girlfriend, Iesha Jackson, a skimming device with which to steal customers' credit card information at her job as a cashier at the chain. Jackson reportedly skimmed more than 20 credit cards before returning the device, and shared the assembled information with several coworkers. Together, the group made more than $90,000 of purchases, which ranged from jewelry and designer clothes to cash advances at Empire City Casino in Yonkers, in addition to $118,000 in attempted charges.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance took the bust as an opportunity to decry an outmoded legal system.

“Cybercrime and identity theft is a persistent, growing threat, but our state’s laws in this area are outdated. I am urging the legislature to make easy fixes that would give prosecutors stronger, more effective tools to combat cybercriminals. For example, under current laws, which were largely written more than a decade ago, a defendant who uses the identity of one victim to steal $2,000 is facing the same top charge as a defendant who assumes the identity of 250 victims to steal $500,000," he said in a statement.

"This does not reflect the enormous impact that identity theft is having on innocent individuals and businesses. The law should be amended to allow for aggregation of theft amounts across victims, and therefore, stricter sentences.”