Living with credit, Protecting yourself

Criminal Charges: Volume XX: Stranger than fiction

Jeremy Simon

Some weeks, finding stories of unusual credit card crimes can be tough. Other times, it is very, very easy.

This week’s credit card crimes once again prove that the truth is often stranger than fiction. We’ve got a coroner’s office employee who used a dead man’s credit card at the local strip club, a cross-dressing purse snatcher and a con-artist who enjoyed the high life on his boyfriend’s corporate card.

Thief lives it up at strip club on dead man’s plastic
An Ohio man stole a credit card from the morgue, and then charged his strip club visit to the stolen plastic.

Former coroner’s officer investigator David Workman will spend the next nine months behind bars after he was convicted of stealing a deceased man’s credit card from the county morgue and then putting that plastic to use at a West Virginia gentlemen’s club, reports.


David Workman caught on a strip club tape using a dead man’s credit card

According to police, Workman confessed to stealing the credit card while investigating a fatality at the Jefferson County, Ohio, morgue. Just two days after the victim’s death, police say that Workman ran up $400 in charges on the card at an exotic dance club. The victim’s family alerted police after finding credit card charges made to his account after his death.

Apparently, the thief had to talk himself out of a tight spot in order to use the plastic. “On a surveillance video, a manager at the club questions Workman about the card, but officers said Workman lied and forged a signature of the dead victim’s name,” reported previously.

Stolen plastic leads police to cross-dressing mugger
A trail of fraudulent credit card charges has led Florida police to Stacy Scott Jr., the Orlando man who snatched a purse in a mall parking lot earlier this year — while dressed as a woman.

Stacy Scott Jr.

That purse might have complemented Scott’s ensemble. “According to a police report, Gloria Fournier was walking to her car in the parking lot when she was approached by a man dressed in women’s clothing,” West Palm Beach, Fla.’s WPBF-TV reports. “He pushed her to the ground and ripped her purse from her arms, police said.”

The victim ended up without a purse, but Scott also lost something in the tussle. “As Fournier struggled with the thief, a white, rolled up athletic sock fell out of his tube top, according to the report. Police said a water-filled condom inside the sock was used to simulate a female’s breast,” WPBF-TV reports.

Police say the victim’s credit card was used to pay a fraudulently opened cell phone account. “A search of that phone number cross-referenced to the suspect, and from that point it became a technical track down through phone bills and cell towers,” Sgt. Leo Niemczyk tells the TV station. Scott was already being held in an Orange County, Fla., jail on an unrelated charge.

Catering con-artist enjoyed upscale time on corporate card
A New York City caterer was indicted last week for allegedly using his boyfriend’s Ernst & Young corporate credit card to run up $369,000 in charges.

On Dec. 9, Carl Butcho plead not guilty to charges of grand larceny. “Prosecutors say Butcho used the card mostly at Manhattan’s Ritz Carlton Hotel in August and September of 2007 for limousine rentals, spa treatments, dog walking and luxury goods purchases,” the Associated Press reports. Butcho apparently pretended to be the heir to a large fortune as he made use of the plastic issued by his boyfriend’s employer, accounting firm Ernst & Young, reports the New York Post.

The Post reports that Butcho’s former flame wasn’t the only victim. “Butcho also scammed $8,000 from a dog-walker by having her charge expenses on her credit card, and then not reimbursing her,” officials told the paper.

See related: Corporate card shenanigans — got some to share?

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