back to article Oracle sued over $33,000 bill for SaaS: STRIPPERS as a SERVICE

A San Francisco strip club is suing Oracle after the tech goliath refused to pay a $33,540 bill allegedly racked up on the company credit card. Larkin Street's New Century Theater has filed a lawsuit claiming a man - named in the legal paperwork as Jose Manuel Gomez Sanchez - slid into the sexy flesh-pit last year and partied …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like most corporate credit cards I would imagine this one is tied to the user's personal bank account, and he is responsible for paying the bill. He'd be able to claim legitimate expenses from his employer, but I doubt if the employer is liable for all card charges.Most companies use corporate AmEx because there is a 30-day delay between getting the bill and it being debited from the bank account, so there's time to do yur expenses claim and get reimbursed, with the card statement as proof and exchange-rate document.

    1. LarsG

      I can only wish that I had a card like that....

    2. Dabbb Bronze badge

      "Like most corporate credit cards I would imagine this one is tied to the user's personal bank account, and he is responsible for paying the bill" - it depends in jurisdiction, in US, Oz and England it's purely company stuff (with pretty much unlimited credit limit), in Mexico and Scotland it's tied to personal account and so on.

      I just wonder what exactly would I pay 17K for with my Oracle CC if I had one (and to be honest using corporate CC with their simplified transaction dispute rules is a most obvious choice do at such places)...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Dabbb

        I actually have an Oracle UK (England) Corporate Amex card, and it is tied to my personal bank account in as far as it's my responsibility to pay the balance - if my expenses aren't approved/paid, then I personally have to pay whatever is left.

        Quite why someone would think putting many thousands of dollars on a work card was a good idea, I'm not sure, which is why I think there must be more to this - ie. alleged fraud perhaps?

        1. Tom 13

          Re: more to this - ie. alleged fraud perhaps?

          My thoughts as well. If it was simply a matter of an employee put dodgy expenses on the card, the company pays the bill, fires the employee, docks the employees severance pay, and if necessary files suite against the employee.

          So I'm thinking the card was reported stolen, and the charges disputed. The club filed suite because they think the employee holding the card is trying to defraud them. I don't have a clue as to whether the card was actually stolen or is an employee trying to duck the fees.

          1. FuzzyTheBear
            Happy

            Re: more to this - ie. alleged fraud perhaps?

            I'd like to know if he was under instructions from his boss. There are instances where " entertaining guests " is done in very debatable ways. It will be an interresting story to follow ..

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: more to this - ie. alleged fraud perhaps?

              Some of the stories I have heard about the treatment of buyers with large projects to fund are indeed quite interesting, including holding "conferences" in Thailand that involved taking over entire bordellos. Best not to mention the companies involved, but there was a monthly project review which led to a near walkout by the engineers because nobody wanted to be the ones any more who had to accompany the project manager to his choice of Soho venues all night.

    3. MrXavia
      WTF?

      A corporate card linked to a personal bank account? what country are we dealing with, that sounds barbaric and idiotic.. Whatever country does that is surly a third world?

      Here in the UK corporate cards are linked to the business accounts, and each user has their own limit usually (well that is in my experience) but really avoid amex if you can, its terrible when traveling and not accepted that many places compared to VISA or Mastercard.

      1. Mike Dolan
        FAIL

        "A corporate card linked to a personal bank account? what country are we dealing with, that sounds barbaric and idiotic.. Whatever country does that is surly a third world?"

        Try not to make blanket statements. I'm in the UK and I have an Amex Corporate Card linked to my own bank account as that is what my employer insisted on. Suffice to say I avoid using it where practically possible.

        "Here in the UK corporate cards are linked to the business accounts"

        No. Some corporate cards are linked to business accounts, but they can be linked to personal accounts. See statement above.

        1. Shoot Them Later

          "Try not to make blanket statements. I'm in the UK and I have an Amex Corporate Card linked to my own bank account as that is what my employer insisted on. Suffice to say I avoid using it where practically possible."

          My employer (who I suspect might be the same as yours) has been trying to make me sign up for a corporate Amex for years, linked to my own bank account. I refuse to take one on the grounds that if I am to put expenses on a card that I am responsible for paying the bill on, then I will do so on a card of my own choosing. If they really want me to use a corporate card, then they will have to provide it, on their own account.

          So far this has resulted mostly in having to repeatedly copy and paste "I do not have a corporate card" into the inevitable exceptions alerts raised by the expenses system. This is no more annoying than using the expenses app in the first place, as it is a crappy piece of client-side Java so I have to fire up a VM to run it in.

          1. Rampant Spaniel

            I've not encountered the company card tied to a personal account technique but I fully believe they would do that. I've had a company charge card linked to a company account and worked at a company that required you to use your own personal card then when the bill arrives you locate a mythical 'expense claims envelope' (no claims would be paid if it wasn't in the correct envelope), fill out the online form, print it off and add it to the envelope with the bill and pray that in 2 to 3 pay cheques you may be refunded. Sufficed to say one experience of that was enough to make me refuse to use my own funds in the future. never underestimate a companies propensity to greatly inconvenience your life in return for saving itself a few pounds \ dollars in interest or credit exposure.

            I got asked to be a witness at a trial (nothing fancy or Jake esque, just spoke with someone who was involved with an incident a few hours later and they wanted me to talk about their state of mind) on the other side of the country and they wanted me to pay for my own tickets and hotel on the vague promise of a refund. At the time I was a student and explained I couldn't do that, the threatened the police at which point I suggested it was nice of them to offer transport now what about accommodation. They did eventually relent and cover the costs up front. The 'lazy by default' approach seems to be far too common place, it's like the forget who exactly is helping who.

        2. MrXavia
          Pint

          I can accept when I am wrong, I guess I've just never encountered that situation before.

          And it is not like I would accept a corporate card that was linked to my personal account in any way either, but everyone is different I guess..

          My apologies for being wrong!

      2. tom dial Silver badge

        When I worked for them, individual employees issued US Government credit cards were personally responsible to repay the full amount when due. This was a definite incentive to file timely travel and per diem claims. Failure to pay on time was made known to the employer, however and could result in disciplinary action, as could use for any purpose not related to official travel. I do not think there would have been any chance of the government covering employee charges for anything.

        There also were credit cards issued to certain managers for use in small acquisitions, with credit limits dependent on the manager's rank. The government would have been on the hook for these, but allowable expenditures required extensive documentation ahead of time. I can imagine unauthorized use of such an account winding up in court, probably after the responsible manager's demotion or dismissal.

    4. Cliff

      Usually 'Joint and Several'

      I had a corporate green Amex for a while, the contract for repaying the bill was 'joint and several', so they could pursue both me personally and the company. If the company agreed my expenses, it would pay, if they didn't, I would have to.

      Sounds like Oracle felt £32k spaffed on overpriced champagne and almost getting laid wasn't really an expense they wanted to cover, so it is up to the individual to pay it. Guessing he doesn't want to either, so the fleshpot is going after whoever they think they can get the money from easiest and with the most embarrassing publicity. Silly thing is with the publicity, Oracle simply cannot now come to any arrangements with the staff member or club.

      The protosexual service provider, though, has probably got their £32k of advertising out of it though, especially when you consider their costs are more likely in the few hundred quid range.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Usually 'Joint and Several'

        The club accepted the card in good faith, they trusted the American Express and Oracle names on the card.

        There is no question that the card was genuine and the holder was entitled to it.

        Why is the store liable for Oracle's internal expenses policy?

        If I buy a big screen TV and my wife says no - I can't just refuse to pay Best Buy because the expense wasn't authorised.

        1. Cliff

          Re: The club accepted the card in good faith

          Yep, I agree, club shouldn't be. However it is ultimately the vendor/service provider that suffers from the chargebacks, this is in their contracts and is a risk of accepting cards over cash. I can take cards for items and services I sell, I pay a fee to payment processors, but if there's a chargeback, it's up to me to sort out. Card companies do not insure the transaction.

        2. Ted Treen
          FAIL

          @Yet Another Anonymous coward - 25/09/2013

          "...If I buy a big screen TV and my wife says no..."

          To effect such a transaction without SWMBO's approval, you'd have to be either a newly wed or suicidal...

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    This does not surprise me

    It is a regular occurance at Oracle World. I guess it comes with the audience.

    Not surprising really - it is the only industry junket I can think of where you get stripper discounts. Even Mobile World Congress does not have that privilege.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This does not surprise me

      " it is the only industry junket I can think of where you get stripper discounts."

      I guess you never went to CES then. AVN shared the building for many years and offered discounts to CES goers....

      1. Peter Simpson 1

        Re: This does not surprise me

        AVN shared the building for many years and offered discounts to CES goers....

        ...the very definition of synergy :-)

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: This does not surprise me

        I'm assuming it wasn't this ANV - http://www.avn.co.uk/ you are referring to.

        1. Gerhard Mack

          @jonathanb Re: This does not surprise me

          Adult Video News Awards.

  3. Drew 11

    "and just a 15-minute walk from El Reg's bureau in the city"

    20 minutes, if there's a queue at the ATM just down the road.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      I'm sure the regular short bursts of exercise are good for the staff.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Coat

        I'm sure the regular short bursts of exercise are good for the staff.

        My staff would certainly enjoy them. It doesn't get enough exercise.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Fifteen minutes there and back - 30 minutes a day, Monday to Friday - 2 hours and 30 minutes a week.

        Just what the Doctor ordered...

        http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html

    2. Velv Silver badge

      Why would you queue at the ATM when the establishment clearly accepts plastic (as well as probably displaying plastic).

      Yeah, yeah, the wife tracks the bank statements. But really, she's not going to quiz you about a $500 lunchtime cash withdrawal?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Expenses

        Yeah, yeah, the wife tracks the bank statements. But really, she's not going to quiz you about a $500 lunchtime cash withdrawal?

        A number of years ago I was running training class for a major US manufacturer at their office in Philadelphia. Like most companies, they wouldn't approve of their employees frequenting the sort of dancing establishment where attractive young ladies managed to suffer wardrobe malfunctions every few minutes. But this being Philadelphia a city which prides itself on having invented the lap dance, the local tourist information brochure (given to every student in the training centre) carried advertisements for some of the local establishments, some offering discount to genuine visitor (bring brochure and hotel key for free admittance). Well the good thing about one of these establishments was that since they severed food their receipt said it was a restaurant. This then leaves your boss in a difficult position. To know that these restaurant bills were from a strip club, he'd have to admit to knowing the strip club :-)

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Expenses

          I don't see what's wrong with knowing a strip club?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Expenses

          I had the opposite problem some years ago. Training trip to Clearwater, Florida, took in a so-so meal in an open air restaurant on the top floor of a shopping center out near the beach. When I got back home and filled out my expense report, I found out that the restaurant's name was "Cha-Cha Coconuts", which sounded an awful lot like a strip club name to me.

        3. Daniel B.
          Pirate

          Expenses and strip clubs

          Yeah, yeah, the wife tracks the bank statements. But really, she's not going to quiz you about a $500 lunchtime cash withdrawal?

          Many years ago I went to a certain strip club and paid with my CC. The statement had it show that it was some generically-named "Regional Restaurant Operator". And during my last visit to Sin City, a cab driver noted that strip clubs in Vegas do the same thing, and that it's pretty common for those with corporate credit cards to charge such escapades as "food expenses". I doubt any of those guys has pulled a $17k bill though, that would raise red flags immediately. What would you eat for $17k? Diamonds?

          1. oolor

            Re: Expenses and strip clubs

            >What would you eat for $17k?

            P*ssy.

            Generally bills like this occur when a criminal gang takes advantage of a lonely mook they have drugged, or in a more 'legit' establishment for 'special services' in a private room. It's obvious most of the posters here who frequent such gentleman's parlours are the 'seat-fillers' who distract from the more lucrative if-you-have-to-ask-we-don't-do-it part of the operation.

            A friend of mine is a CTO at a CC processor which serves the adult web market and a big connoisseur of the ladies dancing naked industry, particularly the aforementioned bit, though oddly he did not know for the same prices he could hire some high end escorts who provide a much more convincing and enthusiastic experience and often have superior dancing/tease skills. I guess that is the price to pay to play big shot in front of your friends/clients. Note my comments are about backroom operations, not the tame stuff out front which is good fun for all.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Expenses and strip clubs

              Yes, I don't understand why someone would pay this much when they could hire an escort and be guaranteed to get the sex they are after.

              Even in SF, that sum would get a serious amount of sex with some gorgeous people.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Expenses and strip clubs

                "I don't understand why someone would pay this much when they could hire an escort"

                An escort?! For that sort of money, you could splash out on a Mondeo and still have enough left for a cute Fiesta to join you in a threesome...

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Expenses and strip clubs

            Eating exotic sushi, Kobe Beef and drinking top shelf sake can run up a pretty hefty bill. I've been in a party or two where quite the expense was run up. Not to 17K, but impressive and no strippers were anywhere to be seen.

          3. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Expenses and strip clubs

            ...What would you eat for $17k? Diamonds?...

            A couple of sausages fried by Heston Blumenthal...?

      2. Bloakey1

        Some of us do not have wives and are free to make withdrawals and deposits where we wish.

        I would far prefer to use cash and have a finite limit rather than give my CC card details to these people.

        Having said that, the last time I went into a place like that it was in London. The girl I was with was looking at strippers, I had my back to them talking to a like minded couple. When asked why I was not watching by my girly. I simply said bring on their mothers as i prefer my meat mature.

        I did however pay for girly to have a private dance. She enjoyed ithe experience even if I didn't. One of the benefits of having a bisexual and very open minded girlfriend ;)

        Beer was cheap enough and it was a pound per person for each girl dancing, not thousands of dollars.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Watching

          The girl I was with was looking at strippers

          OK, I didn't spend all my life in the US in strip clubs, honest.

          But the customer I was visiting in Phoenix took me to visit a couple, in one there was a couple of guys who'd brought one of them's wife/GF/better half. When she arrived she didn't look at all happy to be there. But every time I glanced over she seemed to be warming to it. Within about half an hour she looked ready to jump the dancer performing on her worse half. Watching her getting excited was far more entertaining than watching the dancers. Neither of the blokes bought the lady a dance though, they must have been insane.

      3. Rampant Spaniel

        The atm because tucking a card in the panties isn't the same, although it raises the need for a bra with a swipe sensor on it or even a nfc (bringing a whole new meaning to pay by bonk). I wonder where they could stash the receipt printer?

  4. Grogan

    I don't understand. If a credit card was used for the purchase, isn't it between the credit card company and the card holder? If the user refuses to pay the bill, why would the strip joint be out the money?

    If that's the case, who in their right mind would accept credit card payments? With the exception of fraud on the part of the merchant, how can the credit card company claw back the money from the legitimate establishment?

    This should be the credit card company taking appropriate action against the parties who were issued the credit card and are refusing to pay the bill. As stated in another comment, perhaps the employee is liable... either way, the strip joint should not be responsible for this. Anything else, and credit cards should be relegated to untrusted, risky and basically worthless methods of payment. (Like cheques.)

    The transaction was authorized by the credit card company. That should be the end of the story for the merchant, who really has no way of knowing whether the user is "supposed" to be spending that money or not. (One might suspect that it's inappropriate use of a corporate credit card, but that's not for them to decide)

    So the moral of the story is, don't take American Express.

    1. Natalie Gritpants

      American Express isn't a credit card, it's a charge card and that's (one of the reasons) why lots of businesses don't accept it.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Natalie Gritpants: "American Express isn't a credit card, it's a charge card and that's (one of the reasons) why lots of businesses don't accept it."

        But, like Grogan, I still don't understand. If a business *does* accept it, and they charge it, surely they have *already* been paid, rather than issued some kind of IOU? Whether the card holder then repays the financial institution responsible is between them and it, rather than the original merchant?

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          *Natalie Gritpants: "American Express isn't a credit card, it's a charge card and that's (one of the reasons) why lots of businesses dmn't accept it."

          But, like Grogan, I still don't understand. If a business *does* accept it, and they charge it, surely they have *already* been paid, rather than issued some kind of IOU? Whether the card holder then repays the financial institution responsible is between them and it, rather than the original merchant?*

          Amex charges more in transaction fees to the businesses which is why many do not accept it. It's popular for travel and entertainment as AmX provides services to the cardholder that Visa and MC do not. It isn't the difference between being a "charge" or "credit" card. AmX offers both types of cards and has done for years.

          If a bill is disputed the vendor gets a "chargeback" so they haven't "already been paid". Vendors try to avoid charge backs since they affect their rating and they will get charged higher per-transaction fees. If they get too many, they may get blacklisted and no processor will work with them anymore. That would pretty much put a strip club out of business.

      2. Evil Auditor Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Credit card vs. charge card

        As far as I know, that doesn't make a difference for the businesses, eitherway they get paid by the card issuer. What makes the difference are the fees and those fees tend to be rather high for Amex cards. Btw, my Amex is a credit, not a charge card.

        But I still don't understand why the strip club is suing Oracle.

        1. thesykes

          Re: Credit card vs. charge card

          "But I still don't understand why the strip club is suing Oracle"

          Really?

          Strip club sues man over unpaid bill

          Strip club sues massive multi-billion dollar high-profile tech company over unpaid bill

          Which headline gets the most clicks and gets shitloads of free advertising for said strip club?

          1. ian 22

            Re: Credit card vs. charge card

            Another reason for suing Oracle is the well-tested legal principle of "in conspectu omnis petendam" (sue everyone in sight).

            Which would you prefer to sue, a poverty-stricken git or a wealthy corporation? Can't squeeze blood from a turnip, you know.

        2. Steve Renouf

          Re: Credit card vs. charge card

          Yes. Amex USED to be only charge cards - now they do a plethora of different cards, including various credit card offerings.

      3. Tom 13

        Re: American Express isn't a credit card

        Strictly speaking yes. But Amex does offer cards that are credit cards (Amex Blue). Not sure I'd depend on that distinction for this case.

        But frankly when I looked at taking them for a group where I volunteered, the sole reason to prefer Mastercard and Visa was the ease of setting up both accounts and the manner in which fees were charged. MC/Visa only charged if the transaction went through. Amex (and Discover at the time IIRC) both charged per transaction regardless of whether the transaction was approved.

      4. mikecoppicegreen

        Not sure I agree,

        I think that it's because the charges for AmEx are higher than the charges for other credit or debit cards. After all, visa delta cards are charge cards, not credit cards.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My guess is that the card was used (perhaps not even by Gomez) to guarantee a tab, and at the end of the evening he declined to sign the bill in view of the total. If he then reported this to AmEx as fraud they could decline to reimburse the club (perhaps they have history?) and so they've picked on the other big name on the card.

      Odds are that some customer or staffer at the club decided to put a lot of expensive fizz on a foreigner's tab, assuming that by the time he noticed it would be way too late to do anything. Or the card was stolen and used by someone who had no intention of ever paying.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And then, reading the article, he came and did the exact same thing 2 nights later.

    3. Tom 13

      @Grogan: You clearly have no idea how charge cards of any sort work.

      Any time you accept a charge card, you accept the risk that you won't get your money. The card could be stolen, or the user can dispute the charges. That's the protective side for the user of the charge card. The user can then refute the dispute claim by providing documents which prove the authorized user used the card to pay the bill.

      If the club has filed charges, Oracle and the card user are most likely both claiming the card was stolen and they are therefore not liable for the charges. American Express is preferred by some card holders because they come down hard on merchants who don't abide by the terms of the card. I knew someone (may he rest in peace) who once complained to Amex because the hotel at which he was staying wouldn't accept his card even though they clearly had the logo on their door. While he was at the hotel, their agreement with Amex was terminated and someone from Amex showed up with a razor blade to remove the sticker from the door.

      1. Paul Smith

        Re: @Grogan: You clearly have no idea how charge cards of any sort work.

        And the hotel that no longer accepted AMEX gave a damn because...?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has anyone ever measured the comparative, er, stiffness of credit cards?

  6. jake Silver badge

    ::yawns::

    Get a life.

    1. Oz
      IT Angle

      Re: ::yawns::

      Really? This is in Bootnotes where anything goes

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ::yawns::

        It's Jake - he's a know it all done it all twat. Remember that and your life will improve.

        1. Evil Auditor Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: ::yawns::

          ...sit back, relax and enjoy what's to come: jake vs. the (commentards') world.

          So, let's start it in good ol' gonzo style and be warned, don't take it too seriously. jake, which of the following can we add to the list?

          - ran a strip club,

          - founded or at least consulted Amex,

          - been sued by a strip club,

          - yawned in strip clubs, repeatedly, or

          - been a stripper in a club for Amex executives?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: ::yawns::

            - Dated a stripper (or strippers)

            1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

              The most interesting man in the room

              - Dated BY strippers (including crossdressing ones)

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: ::yawns::

      ...has BEEN a stripper, once stripped for the CEO of Amex, and earned $BIGBUCKS whilst doing it

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: ::yawns::

        - has servers in Amex's DC's

        - designed magnetic strip cards

        - ran a strip joint in the Vatican for the NSA

        - invented tassels on bikinis

  7. Eradicate all BB entrants

    The club won't have been payed .....

    ..... straight away, as most of the time an AMEX charge (not credit card charge) is usually a 'he is good for it' promise. If Oracle refuted the bill then the payment will not have been made.

    AMEX corporate charge cards are likely to be used as alternative to cash, so senior staff don't have to make large withdrawals from banks when contemplating spending the night at such an establishment, therefore the liability will be with Oracle. If it wasn't then the suit should not have made it this far.

    I have never seen the value in paying money just to drink cheap booze and end the night sexually frustrated, that's what marriage is for.

    1. Grogan

      Re: The club won't have been payed .....

      Well, it does say "credit card" in the article. I didn't think Amex cards were charge cards anymore. The only difference is that charge cards have to be paid in full at the end of the billing period (i.e. month) whereas credit cards let you keep a balance as long as minimum payments are met. The merchant gets their money from the card issuer in both cases, it has nothing to do with whether or not the card user pays their bill.

      Perhaps Amex hadn't payed out *yet* but as far as I see it (with the information given), that's pretty dirty dealing if they do not.

      Perhaps the key to this is that Oracle claims the card was used fraudulently (essentially "stolen"). If the user was authorized to use the card, then the payment to the merchant should not have been withheld.

      1. Eradicate all BB entrants

        Re: The club won't have been payed .....

        If you think AMEX don't do charge cards anymore then you have never met the owner of the Black variety. Lets just say if you are a retailer and someone presents you with one you should be very very nice to them.

        Got a bollocking off a manager for spending 30 mins chatting to a customer once, he shut up after I showed him the receipt and informed him of the payment method.

        1. Tom 13
          Paris Hilton

          Re: never met the owner of the Black variety.

          About 10 years ago when I was handling the finances for a non-profit we were offered a Black card from Amex. We didn't apply for it because we figured $1000/year charge was a bit steep for our little organization. But I did read everything that came with it. If I had that kind of money to burn, I would certainly have one.

          Paris, because she actually has that kind of money.

  8. Andrew Smith 1

    How many strippers can you get for $17,000 per night? Or, what will they do for that kind of cash?

    The $10 discount seems a bit naff when you're spending that kind of cash!

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      Funny thing is you can not do lap dance in California. You also can not touch the nipples. Oh and if it's full on nudity you can not serve booze.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        NO BOOZE

        Who would go there if there then?

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Take a look at a rip-off bar menu

      Pick somewhere touristy, sleazy and expensive and you will find the local variant of a rip-off bar. The obvious place to look in London is Soho. You do not have to look hard, as a sexy girl will invite you in. In the UK, such places are required to display a menu with prices outside. Start with the small print at the bottom and you will find things like:

      30% service charge

      No alcohol served in this establishment

      If you buy a girl a drink, it will be $some_silly_name

      Next look to the price of $some_silly_name. It will be well over £200. A few rounds of drinks for the girls plus the service charge will get the bill up to several thousands. $17,000 shows some determined cluelessness. Doing it twice demonstrates world class stupidity.

      1. Reue

        Re: Take a look at a rip-off bar menu

        "In the UK, such places are required to display a menu with prices outside"

        Do you have a source for that? Not disagreeing with you, just interested if it is actually a law or council policy anywhere.

      2. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Take a look at a rip-off bar menu

        I don't think anyone is suggesting this fine theatre is a clip joint. There are very few clip joints left in London anymore, the police did a series of sting operations on the operators and explained very clearly to the guy that owns most of soho to cut it out.

        I think it is far more likely he took a bunch of people to a strip bar, ran a tab and ordered the champagne, probably trying to get sales. He probably anticipated the sales and would have paid this out of his commission, but the sales never came through and Oracle refused to cover it as an expense.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Take a look at a rip-off bar menu

          > the guy that owns most of soho

          Why does he damage his own business through ill-repute though?

          1. Bloakey1

            Re: Take a look at a rip-off bar menu

            His Putes were ill?

            My God, no wonder plod visited him.

            s.p.

            In French a Putain is a whore. Sooo, in the vernacular Pute is the term we use for them. Or as my children know them stomping through Amsterdam etc. "Naughty Ladies".

        2. Cliff

          Re: Guy that owns most of Soho

          Used to be Paul Raymond, now his Granddaughters, Fawn and India Rose. They own huge swathes of Soho. And are cute.

          1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

            Re: Guy that owns most of Soho

            Thought it would have been Gerald Grosvenor,

            live and learn

        3. Donald Becker

          Re: Take a look at a rip-off bar menu

          This happened a year ago, and in the interim a lawsuit has been filed that revealed more details.

          The reason it's coming up now is a fresh attempt to embarrass Oracle during OOW in an attempt to force an out-of-court settlement.

          We don't know what the true story is, but the lawsuit response points out that the $16K and $17K nights each had about a dozen different receipts, each with a different signature. The guy went back the second night because he had no clue that $16K had been charged the first time.

          If the bill had been $1K or $2K, I would just believe the guy was trying to dodge a strip club bill. But of course that small amount would have just quietly been paid, even if fraudulent. When you end up with a $17K bill in one night, and the bills overlap in time with different signatures, it's easy to believe the guy's credit card was passed around the club before being returned to him.

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Well this one - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/10317940/Aristocrats-daughter-works-as-high-class-escort.html is £140 per hour. I would say no even if she offered her services for free, but then I guess I'm not the target market for that sort of thing.

  9. lansalot

    ooh...

    Two visits in 24 hours. What sort of up-time are we talking, here ?

    1. Bloakey1

      Re: ooh...

      It wasn't up time as he was not working. It was downtime and he was working on his discrete component and adding to his relational database.

      I am not codding you!

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: ooh...

        am not codding you!

        And that's the trout.

  10. plrndl
    Holmes

    Boat Race?

    So that's why Larry ditched his keynote!

  11. alain williams Silver badge

    Pictures or it didn't happen

    Thus providing an excuse for an e-Reg hack to flex their corporate credit card...

  12. Eponymous Cowherd
    WTF?

    How much?

    Saw a 64Gb iPhone 5s in the window of the local Cex (Chav's Equipment Exchange) for £850.

    Seriously? Who the hell pays over £800 for a sodding phone? And a 2nd hand one at that!!!

  13. JDX Gold badge

    just a 15-minute walk from El Reg's bureau in the city

    I hope you've sent your man down to question them about this in person?

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: just a 15-minute walk from El Reg's bureau in the city

      But will he "make his excuses and leave" shortly after?

      (err... this is El Reg, so probably not!)

  14. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    RE : How much?

    "Seriously? Who the hell pays over £800 for a sodding phone? And a 2nd hand one at that!!!"

    Errr.. no-one, obviously? As it was, as you say - still in the window. Your post should have read "What dumb company tries to flog an iPhone5 for over £800" - the answer, still obviously however - is CEX.

  15. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Facepalm

    NSFW ?

    Errr.... for a story that's marked NSFW, there do appear to be quite a few thumbnails of the NSFW bit all over the site!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny story...

    Went out for a nite of ribald revelry with some buddies to a Niagara Falls Ontario strip club (fully naked, absolutely anything goes & owned by scum) and a friend (who was happily married) just sat there and chatted with a clothed stripper. Thought he was safe until he got his credit card bill for $2,500 since she charged (alot) by the hour to "chat".

    Friend refused to pay the bill, bar threatened to call the OPP (and physically threatened the friend) and he said call 'em. They didn't and he called the credit card company 10 minutes later and said he was contesting the bill for all but $100 of inflated beers. They agreed and canceled the extra $2,400

    .

    Said friend has never been there since. The real lesson is when going to a den of iniquity, pay cash and don't think that chatting up the strippers is free.

  17. Joe Gurman

    Sigh

    You know, this never happens for the annual Fall American Geophysical Union meeting, held during the first week in December in San Francisco. No discounts for anything. Wrong career choice?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jose Manuel Gomez Sanchez

    So, for $33,000 did he give a Dirty Sanchez?

  19. Tacitus

    The credit card company is correct in refusing to pay such a large sum as every alarm bell would be ringing, the individual, the normal range of his expenses plus a reasonable sum, the credit limit, the fat it is a sleaze-bag establishment making the claim. The credit card companies are all well aware that people who attend sleaze joints or even sleaze-palaces to perve on women or to promenade themselves as 'good business connections'will be unethical and unreliable. On the occasions I have been invited to topless restaurants or lap-dancing haunts for business conversation I have declined, I regard it as a little insulting but more than that, that the type who uses such low life joints isn't the type I can respect or rely upon.

    Sleaze-bag?...well that's my most polite term and to save time, I am convinced that pole dancers, strippers and prostitutes add nothing to life on earth, rather the contrary. I don't believe they prevent 'sex crimes', in fact the contrary. The people who live off them are as close to the term 'human trash' as one can go with commerce. The people who get off on them or use them have "serious issues" in self perception and depression. I don't subscribe to the 'penthouse' model

    of liberation psychology. I do however have an awareness of what's what.

    The management of the sleaze-joint place is either deliberately or negligently deficient and that goes to the obligations of a client to pay in some circumstances. These sleaze-joints run on criminal behaviour, that's their underlying ethic...."low-life, dumb-as people who come to places like ours deserve to be screwed-over."

    When you are served watered-down drinks at $20/30/40 out of various bottles refilled with cheap liquor as is commonplace in dark dirty establishments, even there an invoice should come with the drinks. Common sense dictates that if someone has run up $500 in drinks and has no previous, paid dealings with you that you draw them aside for an awareness chat and get paid at fixed points, like every $200 or less...or paid in advance. You do proper risk management.

    Management should be doing due-diligence on every customer indluding new ones. That's what should be done in sleazebag joints even when the users are sleazebags...you can't reasonably say "they deserve to be screwed -over"...not reasonably. It's not really the sort of admission that enhances your chances in court, because it gives the impression you are a twister.

    In American 'wonderland' where waitresses are paid $2.50 and hour and forced to live on a pinched backside and tips $17, 000 is a lot of money. On drinks alone that could be 850 glasses of sleaze-water. 5 girls for the night who get at best $100 for any night of 'entretainment' stripping are unlikely to cost more than $1000 each for a few hours of 'bliss'...so where did all the money go. ?...Cocaine? ...Ice?..Was he doing some deal as a distributor? Did he front with $33,000 on $17,000 down? Seems unlikely though possible....why was he there?...Was he being a smarty 'up to something' with the sleazery??...so many questions and to quote that famed if not notorious anti-sleaze campaigner, Hamlet "that is the question".

    Is it more likely that the sleaze-register just happened to see an extra zero tacked onto the entry into the card machine?....or that someone in the place continued to use his account through a 'pin stealer' ?

    I have had short sharp replies to people who in my life have said 'would you like me to put the pin number in for you"...but today that's no longer needed to get a pin illegally.

    Is it more likely that this sleaze - dump for perverts also has a gambling aspect where having racked up, somehow substantial credit adnd turned it into debt, that the card owner has returned to the dump

    to try to recover and gone even further into 'debt' Perhaps the Tax office should be having a very good look at this sleazery.

    In the meanwhile in my view the credit card company...and I despise them as being a sort of candy-man for spend-addicts....has been entirely correct. The onus has to be put on the sleazery to show

    how such a sum was spent. Was it spent or was the account concocted. Was the card owner also the card holder when such sums were 'incurred". If the sums are questionable, and overseas I have had mine questioned even when my card is in credit plus, owing to deviancy from your normal patterns or expenditure then it is due diligence. At a $17,000 or a $33,000 expectation,even if not exceeding the credit limit, the card company would be extremely remiss if it didn't look for some clarification of how when where why and whther this sum was something they should pay. Whatever the situation, anyone one lawfully involved in this debt and acting honestly and with good faith, deserves to be paid.

    That the entertainments (yes that includes all of you who attend these places) for low life is provided by other lower life, doesn't mean they have no legal rights or protection. Frank Nitti and Mayer Lansky had every right to be paid for lawfully incurred debt however bike-chains, iron bars, baseball bats, .38, 9mm or the silenced .22 are not reasonable conclusions to unpaid debt. If this debt is legitimate then "how" and if unpaid some of the reaonable solutions are a settlement, bankruptcy or 'as the court so orders'

  20. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Personal info for a company card?

    I find it very dodgy that a corporate credit card should have backing from a personal account. A company I worked for issued cards that had limits set for each card holder. We also had to sign a agreement about what the card could and couldn't be used for. On top of the individual limits, the cards drew from a deposit account that put a limit on the overall credit in aggregation. Each month we had to submit an itemized list of the charges we made and to what project the purchases should be charged to. The reason we got the company cards is the lot of us got sick to the teeth of making company purchases on our own CC's and sometimes not getting reimbursed before the payment was due and ending up having to pay interest charges out of our own pockets. Using our own cards also impacted our ability to use the card for our personal purchases.

    Why didn't Oracle have any limits on this card? They should know better. If the cardholder made some bad decisions, he should be sacked, but that doesn't relieve Oracle from taking responsibility. Oracle's ability to recover the money from the (former) employee comes down to his employment agreement and any other document he signed when he was issued the card. This is all predicated on the card not being stolen or misused by the strip club.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personal info for a company card?

      I find it very dodgy that a corporate credit card should have backing from a personal account.

      Why? It's perfectly normal practice. As an employee you are subject to the rules your employer sets for expenses, and if you breach those rules the employer won't reimburse you. As has been said by several posters, the main reason for providing such cards is that neither the employee or employer is out-of-pocket while waiting for the expenses claim to be filed and reimbursed. It isn't a card for large business purchases, that's what purchase orders are for.

      The ermployer pays the annual fee for the card, and so the card has to be used only for business expenses. If it can be used for personal expenses as well the taxman will regard it as a perq and treat some or all of the annual fee to be taxable income.

      Oracle's ability to recover the money from the (former) employee comes down to his employment agreement and any other document he signed when he was issued the card.

      Oracle has no liability to recover the money because Oracle isn't owed the money. The card was issued subject to an agreement, signed by the employee, that they would use the card only for legitimate business expenses according to Oracle's policy, and that the cardholder (the employee) would be personally responsible for paying the bill (I know that because I have signed such an agreement for my own Oracle corporate AmEx card). The only argument that could arise is if there's a dispute between the employee and Oracle over whether the expense should be reimbursed, which has nothing to do with either AmEx or the strip club. At most it would be an internal disciplinary issue.

  21. REG HARDWARE

    Looking at the picture i remembered............

    Breast appears to an extension .But its not.

    ‘X’ chromosome decides to have a female type of breast and has its way. Now ‘Y’ chromosome intervenes. Put his foot forward and says ‘no’. A strong ‘no’! And in spite of that ‘X’ chromosome is adamant and produces the female type of breast, to announce its independence. ‘Y’ chromosome suppresses this mutiny with power. I want the flat chest, is the motto. ‘Y’ wins in the end.(ref.MAN IS THE EXTENSION OF WOMAN)

  22. mhenriday
    Trollface

    Rumour has it

    that Oracle has filed a motion to have the venue changed to the Superior Court of Hawaii, conveniently located on the charming island of Lanai. Strippers are welcome on day- night-trips....

    Henri

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