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Woman Allegedly Used Company Credit Cards to Pay for Her Wedding

Christine DiGangi

Earlier this year, someone used a stolen credit card to pay for a wedding on a yacht in Miami. A recent news report outlined a scenario with similar details: stolen credit cards, wedding, Florida.

A Port St. Lucie, Fla., woman was arrested last week on charges of fraud and grand theft for allegedly charging $50,000 of wedding expenses to company credit cards.

According to the Palm Beach Post, La’Reese Darville initially said she made the charges with permission from her father, who is one of the owners of Partners III Pawn Shop, her employer. Police say she had permission to use her father’s card (she charged $10,000 on his card) but not to use other owners’ company accounts, though she initially blamed her father for a mixup. Darville had been an employee for eight years and managed the company’s finances as the operations manager when she misused the accounts.

She eventually admitted to fraudulently using company credit cards 14 times for a total of $39,286.24 in wedding costs, including renting the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe and paying wedding vendors. Darville said she also used about $3,000 of the company’s checking account to pay the credit card bills.

According to the news reports, she had planned on paying the money back “so it wasn’t really an issue at all.”  She claims to have already repaid $17,161.49 of the $40,000, though she has not provided proof of this. Whether or not she ends up paying for her wedding, the company could be held liable for the charges, as business credit cards do not carry the same fraud protections as consumer cards.

Consumers should always closely monitor their bank accounts, regardless of if they are business or personal ones, because credit card fraud is a common crime. The easiest way to prevent financial headaches is to spot and look into unusual transactions that show up on bank statements.

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