It's an embarrassment of riches, in this week's look at unusual credit card crimes. I mean, should we lead off with the credit card employee who helped steal someone's identity, or the two pals who pulled a "Weekend at Bernie's" and went partying with a dead friend and his credit card?
I guess we'll start with the corpse.
Weekend at Bernie's 3?
Most people of a certain age have heard of the 1989 film "Weekend at Bernie's" (lesser known is its 1993 sequel, "Weekend at Bernie's II"), in which two guys (played by Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman) discover their boss, Bernie Lomax (Terry Kiser), is dead, and for reasons too complicated to get into right now, they decide that they need people to think Boss is alive, in order to keep a hit man at bay. So for an entire weekend, they prop up Bernie and--well, hijinks ensue, and, for those who haven't seen it, it all makes more sense than you would think.
Well, as you may have already heard--the story has gotten quite a bit of press, but how can we ignore this?--Fox31 Denver reported that two men are currently facing a judge for allegedly doing something similar with their friend Jeffrey Jarrett a la "Weekend at Bernie's."
According to Fox 31, Robert Young, 43, found Jarrett, also 43, unresponsive at his Denver home. Young could have called the police or an ambulance right there, but instead went and got a friend. Of course, right? Wouldn't we all do that?
So Young comes back with his buddy, Mark Rubinson, 25. It's uncertain whether Jarrett was alive or dead at this point, but in any case, the two put Jarrett in the back of Rubinson's car and went to Teddy T.'s, a bar and grill. They left Jarrett in the car, but they brought his credit card into the place and used it to buy some drinks.
(Why do I think they might have been already drinking before Young found Jarrett at his home?)
Young and Rubinson then went to Sam's No. 3, another restaurant, allegedly using the credit card once more.
After that, perhaps thinking their unconscious friend a bit of a party pooper, they reportedly took him back to his house and put him in his bed. Then, perhaps, they did the right thing and called the police?
Not exactly. Instead, Young and Rubinson allegedly went to a place called Viva Burrito, bought some more food and drinks, and then filled up their car with gas. They weren't done, however. They apparently drove over to Shotgun Willie's, a strip club, and withdrew $400--I presume from Jarrett's account--in cash. They lingered at the club until it closed.
It was only then that one of the men found a police officer and said, "I think my roommate might be dead," leading to the unraveling of this whole sorry tale and the confirmation that Jarrett by now was, in fact, deceased.
Citibank must "love" press like this
It isn't Citi's fault, of course. Hire enough people, and you're bound to find someone who isn't exactly going to be "employee of the month." But, boy, they apparently really misjudged Amanda Shepherd, who worked in Glendale, Ariz. as a customer service representative at Citi Cards.
According to The Arizona Republic, Shepherd and her boyfriend, George Nelson, came up with a pretty ingenious plan.
It isn't clear how Nelson got his hands on a stolen Citi credit card, but he used that card to buy $14,725 in merchandise at various stores around Glendale over two days in August and September, including an Apple iPad2 from Walmart and a $6,820 diamond ring from Zales.
At some point the card was denied, and this is why I call the plan ingenious. Nelson called up his girlfriend, who conveniently worked at Citi Cards, and she unblocked the account, so he was able to continue using the credit card.
Nelson and Shepherd were eventually identified on surveillance video. Not only was Nelson on the camera, but in several instances, Shepherd was as well. Both were arrested for identity theft and use of a stolen credit card.
Maybe he should have asked his sister for a loan
For any fans of rapper Foxy Brown, sad news. The rapper's brother Gavin Marchand, 36, is going to jail. Why? He used fake credit cards to go shopping, dropping $8,000 at a boutique in Manhattan.
The cards were bogus, but the accounts weren't. Marchand was sentenced to two and a half to five years in prison. According to the Washington Post, he had previously pleaded guilty to identity theft.
As if teachers needed more problems
Schools already can resemble a fortified camp as it is, but clearly, they're going to have to do more. This isn't the first time this has happened to a school this year. In Radcliff, Ky., at North Hardin Christian School, a man and a woman entered the building together as if they were some kid's parents, then went into a classroom and took a teacher's credit cards, according to WAVE-TV, a local NBC affiliate.
The two impostors were spotted on video slipping in as another group was leaving. They were crafty--they had visitor's badges. They weren't the real thing--something they improvised on their own--but they probably helped give the illusion that they belonged there.
According to the report, the school's founder and pastor said that the couple walked into a classroom that was unattended--the teacher and class were nearby, but at lunch--and apparently found what they were looking for: unguarded credit cards.
Then they left the school and went to several stores in Elizabethtown, Ky. Because it apparently took the teacher a while to notice her credit card was missing, the next day, the couple had time to shop at a few more places, including Nashville, Tenn. Their purchases included the ever-popular iPad2 and some gift cards.
At this writing, sadly, these two nitwits are still at large.