Illinois diner jailed for three years after refusing to pay $70 dinner bill

Shereen Dindar
Shine On

An Illinois diner who refused to pay for his meal at a steak house, and who has a history of not paying dinner bills, now gets to eat for free for three years at a local jail.

Anthony Malabehar, 47, pleaded guilty to felony theft charges without giving much of an explanation except saying he could not afford the restaurant bill, reports CNN.

The meal in question included appetizers, steak, lobster tail, and a Mike's Hard Lemonade at the Alamo Steak House in Mattoon, Ill. on April 4.

"He told the waitress with a smile on his face, 'I need to tell you a secret -- I don't have any money,'" says the restaurant's general manager, Alex Schmink.

Also see: Criminals caught after posting photos of their meal on Instagram

Needless to say, he didn't try to escape or resist arrest when the police arrived.

Malabehar had been out of jail for only one day after serving a 60-day sentence for the same crime at another local restaurant in February involving a $100 bill.

For those of you left scratching your head, know that he has a criminal record of at least 13 prior convictions for theft and burglary and about 70 prior arrests for theft.

Maybe this man loves jail and was scheming to return. Either that or he has a poor rehabilitation strategy.

Also see: Restaurant's unusual ban draws mixed reactions

In other scandalous unpaid restaurant bill stories, in 2010 a mysterious London couple in their 30s dined-and-dashed at an upscale restaurant for a bill totaling $912 CAN (£572). They pretended to go outside for cigarette and then took off. The police suspected they were involved in a series of dine-and-dash incidents prior.

Also in 2010, in an incident closer to home, the Edmonton Oilers hockey team refused to pay the full cost of a dinner bill totaling $16,800 CAN at an upscale Calgary restaurant. The team left only $12,300 CAN for their bill claiming they should get a discount simply because of who they are.

Lesson for all: Pay your food bill. Karma will get ya.