Once again, it's time to take a look at what's going on, in our nation's annals of unusual credit card crimes…
As the Associated Press reported, a wedding planner, Robert Lawson Smith, was arrested for credit card theft. He says it was a matter of bad bookkeeping. Maybe. Certainly something went awry.
Adam and Wendy Shearer hired Smith to plan their wedding at a Charleston, South Carolina plantation. The day before their honeymoon, they discovered up to $28,000 in charges to vendors who they say Smith had said were already paid. WCBD, a Charleston TV station, reported that Smith was only supposed to be paid $2,500, but police say that he gave the couple's credit card number out to third-party vendors he hired to help him. The Shearers argue that they didn't give him permission to do that.
Maybe it will turn out to be a case of some seriously amiss bookkeeping. The Post & Courier, the paper for Charleston, followed up days later with a story that suggests that was the case. One can't imagine that this kind of publicity will be good for Smith's wedding planning business, in any case, and I'm thinking a lesson here might be that if you're going to give your credit card to a wedding planner to pretty much do what he wants -- the wedding was a $63,000 shindig -- you should discuss beforehand exactly what that wedding planner is allowed to do with your card. And likewise, if you're a business owner entrusted with a customer's credit card, you'd better have a long talk about how you're going to use it before you actually do.
It's so hard to find good help these days
One of the sad things about constantly writing about credit card crime is that you begin to realize, even though 99 percent of the people out there are probably good and honest as the day is long, you can't really trust anyone. Case in point: There was a credit card crime at an assisted living facility in the Tampa Bay, Florida, region, recently, according to The Tampa Bay Times. The victim? An 83-year-old, whose credit card was stolen by a guy who spent the next four days shopping.
The alleged perpetrator? A nighttime security guard.
So we need to start hiring guards to guard our guards?
Just speak into the microphone
OK, so according to The Battle Creek Enquirer, the paper of record for Battle Creek, Michigan, a 33-year-old woman told police that she had been through a drive-through window at a restaurant and bought some food and never noticed the employee didn't give back her credit card.
The woman discovered her card was missing the next day and soon discovered whoever had the card had used it to make a $28.95 phone call -- to the county jail.
Last that's been reported, the police, who are looking into the matter, have been told by the restaurant that an employee who was working there the day the card was taken has a boyfriend in the Calhoun County jail. Perhaps this employee will be able to see her boyfriend face to face sooner than she thought.
It's going to be awkward at the next performance review meeting
In Raleigh, North Carolina, a woman is being charged with using her husband's company credit card to buy gas, food, groceries and other things, like shoes, between November 6 and January 18. She used the card 107 times.
When I first heard about this, I thought: Well, surely, there's just been some misunderstanding. The woman who was arrested, Dawn Deloreis Beddard, 34, didn't truly get the concept of a company credit card. She probably thought her husband, who is a plumber, was going to pay it off. She's probably a perfectly nice person who made a mistake.
Except the Winston-Salem Journal is reporting that Beddard used the alias Dawn D. Clark when shopping.
Well, that is a little harder to explain…