Pro tip for those who are somehow unaware: If you want to buy something you don’t want anyone to ever know about, you shouldn’t use a credit card. Credit card statements that make it very easy to trace the nature of your transactions.
As such, it’s very unsurprising that a tech company busted one of its (now former) employees for allegedly using a company credit card to fund an online-stripper habit. The charges against John David Berrett of Gilbert, Ariz., are as bizarre as you’d expect.
Investigators allege Berrett spent more than $476,000 on his World Wide Technology company credit card to not only purchase tokens redeemable on a site where “women perform stripping routines via webcam,” but also to tip and buy gifts for strippers. He reportedly paid one $26,800 so she could pay for her college tuition bill, new tires for her car and her parents’ utility bill.
He is said to have covered up the transactions with fake expense reports for work costs he incurred for his job of traveling to meet customers and provide information technology training and support. For example, a claim for training materials was really a purchase from an adult toy company, and $10,800 for training services really went to a stripping site.
A federal grand jury in Missouri indicted Berrett on five counts of wire fraud on July 23. The $476,000 of personal spending is said to have occurred between Sept. 16, 2013 and Oct. 21, 2014, according to the indictment. World Wide Technology, a Missouri-based company with offices in Arizona, told the Arizona Republic that Berrett is no longer an employee.
Whether you’re managing a business or personal credit card, it’s important to keep close tabs on transactions and where they come from. Given that so much banking is done online, it’s easy to copy the information from a transaction and plug it into an Internet search, which usually shows what sort of purchase its associated with. If that doesn’t match up with what you’ve used the card for (or whoever has the card is supposed to be using it for), investigate what’s going on immediately, to protect yourself from financial loss or credit damage. You can see how credit card use (and fraud) impacts your credit standing by getting a free credit check every 30 days on Credit.com.
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