FRAUD

Secretary Charged With Using Company Card to Fund Exotic Dancer Business Scheme

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By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A legal secretary is accused of using a law firm's corporate credit card to help finance an excursion to Puerto Rico for a side business that specialized in entertaining women with male exotic dancers.

Jarriette Richie, 41 of Clinton was charged last week in the District's federal court with fraud. She was released on personal recognizance. In court papers, an investigator with the District's U.S. attorney's office wrote that Richie worked as a legal secretary for Saul Ewing in Northwest Washington.

She also ran a side business, Show N Tell Entertainment, out of her home, providing "male performers exclusively for female audiences," investigator Diane Eickman wrote in court papers.

Eickman wrote that Richie organized a trip in August 2007 to the Copamarina Beach Resort in Puerto Rico so that several dozen women could be entertained by male performers. Richie gave a travel agent her personal Visa card to pay for a $5,000 deposit at the resort, Eickman wrote.

That month, Richie also deposited about $70,000 in counterfeit checks into her account at a credit union, Eickman wrote, and then used her credit union's check card to buy 18 airline tickets. Eickman does not say whether those tickets were for performers or patrons of Show N Tell Entertainment.

After discovering the checks were counterfeit, credit union officials froze Richie's account, according to Eickman. Richie then used a corporate American Express Card to buy $21,375.30 in additional airline tickets, Eickman wrote.

She also put $25,473 in resort charges on that card, Eickman wrote.

That corporate card had been issued to an attorney at a firm that later merged with Saul Ewing. Information about that corporate credit card was kept in a locked room near Richie's desk, Eickman wrote.

In total, prosecutors said, Richie used the card to make $46,848 in fraudulent purchases tied to the trip.

Richie's attorney, federal public defender Shawn Franklin Moore, declined to comment. Richie could not be reached.


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