Photo: Flickr via mislav
If your assumption is that a vice president of NBC Universal would have the foresight not to charge his top-shelf prostitute to his credit card, then you clearly do not understand America. These days, we Americans use our credit cards like all-access passes to the sin bin. For the sake of a quick fix – whatever the vice – we trick ourselves into forgetting that every purchase we make is recorded by our credit issuer, and nearly everybody, from crackheads to corporate executives, is guilty. Here’s a look at some of the absolute dumbest credit card purchases of all time.
CEOs, bankers use company cards for prostitutes.
When Kristin Davis, the infamous “Manhattan Madam,” was arrested for running one of the city’s largest and most expensive escort services in 2009, it wasn’t hard for police to find out who exactly had been stopping by. As it turned out, many of Davis’s clients – including a vice president at NBC Universal, the owner of a major league baseball team and the CEO of one of the country’s largest private equity firms – had taken to charging their late-night threesomes to their company credit cards.
Now, to give the credit where credit is due, many of them had Davis disguise the invoices as “roof repair” or “computer consulting.” The only problem is that, as a city prosecutor told ABC News, that sort of half-assed masquerading also counts as felony fraud.
Reggie Wayne’s mistress likes cash advances – his wife does not.
As we’ve mentioned before, cash advances are pretty much the dumbest purchases you can put on your credit card. However, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne found a way to make these uber-high-interest loans even worse – by letting his mistress charge a bunch of them to his credit card in June of 2010. According to police, Wayne’s mistress Natasha McKenzie made 333 different purchases totaling over $95,000 on his card.
Along with the cash advances, she also bought furniture and electronics that she resold to her family and friends at a 50% discount. While Wayne appeared to be cool with this for a while, when his wife found out about the affair he turned right around and sued McKenzie for every purchase she ever made, claiming they were all unauthorised – even though sources report that he was present with her at the register for some of them. That’s cold, man.
Michigan man tries to buy crack with a credit card.
Crack dealers are by nature an untrustworthy lot. So when your local rock slinger tells you that he now accepts credit cards, you should probably think it over before following him into a dark alley, as one unnamed man in Flint, Michigan did in February, 2010. According to police, the man called the cops to report that he had been robbed at gunpoint while attempting to pay for his crack with plastic.
When the police arrived on the scene, the man also said that his 2003 Chevy Malibu had been stolen. After running the plate numbers, the police found out that the guy had previously stolen the car from a town 50 miles north of Detroit. They hauled him off to jail where, we assume, he received a lecture on why he shouldn’t expect receipts from street pharmacists.
Pretend surfer and D-list actor milks dude for thousands.
“Dave,” as DeadSpin calls him, is a successful NYC businessman. Last year, he met a pretty D-list actress at a bar. Dave and Hanna(h) – she varies the spelling – hit it off immediately, so Dave decided to invite her to Vegas for a weekend with him. Gentleman that he was, Dave decided to book two rooms for Hannah and himself, and he put his card down for incidentals on both. Then things got weird.
By the end of the trip, and unbeknownst to Dave, Hannah had charged over $20,000 to her room on luxuries like a $5 bottle of orange juice and a $1,300 spa trip. When Dave contacted her about paying him back for the unauthorised – but technically authorised – charges, she said she’d handle it immediately. She didn’t, so Dave got his attorney to write her a letter. In response, she created a Twitter page using his real identity and wrote a series of public apologies to herself.
Since DeadSpin first broke the story, a number of the organisations with which Hannah Cornett claims to be affiliated have denied any knowledge of her. Her Wikipedia page has since been deleted, and surf legend Kelly Slater even called her out on Twitter. You can read the rest of the bizarre story at DeadSpin.
If you’re new to the world of credit, let these unfortunate individuals teach you what not to do with your credit card. Remember, if you don’t want something to show up on your statement, just pay with cash. And if you have a bad feeling that maybe your drug dealer isn’t as honest as he claims, then you should probably avoid handing him your card. Think man, think!
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