Woman Convicted of Charging $500K to Boss’ Business Cards

May 31, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

A federal jury this week convicted a former manager of a Williamsburg, Virginia eye care center on charges she fraudulently made about $514,000 in personal transactions over a four-year period to three business credit cards owned by her boss.

Sherea Darnell, 34, was found guilty of 41 counts of wire and bank fraud and three counts of filing false income tax returns, the Virginia Gazette reported. She faces up to 30 years in prison when she is sentenced later this year.

Darnell used the credit cards “to pay for her son’s preschool tuition, which she deducted on her 2016 tax return, and took more than $90,000 in cash advances and transferred the money into her personal bank account,” the newspaper reported. “Darnell then used the money to hire a maid service, buy high-end clothes and airline tickets for herself and her family, and made deposits and payments on luxury cars, online court records indicate.”

Darnell’s boss gave her the business credit cards “to be used for business purposes such as supplies and office equipment,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. The credit cards were paid automatically each month by the owner’s business bank accounts.

The owner only noticed the charges after Darnell resigned in September 2016 and moved to Michigan and he began reviewing the business’ bank accounts.

How to Minimize the Chances of Employee Theft

This is obviously a nightmare scenario for any business owner who gives employees authorization to use company credit cards. It’s great to be a vigilant boss — trust, but confirm — but card issuers also have established some fairly passive controls you can put to work for you.

You can set employee spending limits on The Business Platinum Card® from American Express or your Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, for example.

Amex allows you to set limits online or over the phone. Be aware, however: Any limit you set up won’t apply for things like restaurant tips and hotel stays extended beyond the original reservation. Owners can also request text or email alerts to see real-time spending on the card, and cardholders may also freeze and unfreeze spending on individual cards.

You may be able to avoid the cash-advance thefts seen in the Darnell case, as well. With The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express, for instance, you can ask to set limits to how much cash can be withdrawn at ATMs and American Express Travel Service locations during a billing period.

Feature image by eclipse_images / Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.