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Prep school staff member runs up $400,000 on school credit card

Credit cards, especially cards issued to businesses for use by their employees, are frequent targets for theft or larceny. An administrative assistant at an exclusive prep school in New York City has been arrested and is facing criminal charges for using a school-issued credit card to purchase luxury goods and $150,000 in gold bullion.

The employee was an administrative assistant at the school who reported to the director of fund raising. Ironically, her job was monitoring the school's credit card accounts. She is charged with using the school's credit card to purchase gold bullion and several hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of clothing and jewelry. Among the allegedly illegal expenditures was a trip to Los Angeles. The district attorney's office is still investigating an additional $50,000 in alleged thefts.

Most of the alleged thefts occurred from May 2013 to May 2016. The defendant told school officials that the expenses were incurred in connection with printing charges. The scheme began to unravel when a school official confronted the employee about an alleged payment of $14,500 to a PayPal vendor. The defendant attempted to use falsified documents to hide the theft. The woman has been charged with one count of grand larceny, to which she has pleaded not guilty.

While the evidence in this case appears to be strong, the woman is entitled to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Anyone accused of similar crimes may wish to consider consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney for an assessment of the facts and law that will determine the outcome of the case and for an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.

Source: New York Post, "Staffer used elite school's credit card for $400K spending spree: cops," Rebecca Rosenberg and Selim Algar, June 2, 2017

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