CAL seeks US$53,000 from ex-employee

Cayman Airways is seeking repayment of more than US$53,000 from a former manager of its US sales and marketing department who the airline has accused of running up unapproved charges on a company credit card.

According to court documents, Donald Hicks made more than 200 unauthorised purchases totalling $56,609.59 between 5 May, 2005, and 3 November, 2006, on an American Express card he was given by the airline.

The purchases are laid out individually in a schedule attached to a Writ of Summons, which was issued 16 July.

Some of those expenses include: a total of $3,582.71 to Walt Disney or Walt Disney World for largely unexplained charges, one expense description cited in court records stated those charges were for a number of guests; $952.21 was charged to the Soccer Locker store in Florida, again for an unexplained expense; $197.90 was spent at Macy’s in Missouri on a jacket, the explanation given was that it was bought because of cold weather in Chicago; and $1,000 was paid to an Oregon company named Flyaway Travel, which court records state the card user did not remember.

In at least one instance on 5 October, 2006, $552.60 was charged at a Macy’s store in Florida, a purchase that court documents show was explained as a personal expense.

According to court records, CAL gave Mr. Hicks the credit card in May 2005 to use in the conduct of his duties as a manager in the airline’s sales and marketing department.

Under the terms of use, as stated in the court records, Mr. Hicks was responsible for all charges, was required to forward legitimate business expenses to a CAL representative within 30 days and acknowledged that any personal charges would be deducted from his payroll.

The writ further states that it was an implied term of Mr. Hicks’ employment that he would not use the credit card to make extensive personal purchases that he had no intention or ability to pay for.

‘The defendant has failed to provide expense reports or receipts and…charges are personal expenditure for which the defendant (Mr. Hicks) is liable to the plaintiff (CAL),’ the writ states.

Cayman Airways stated in the court filing that Mr. Hicks, who had worked for the airline since 1999, was fired on 4 January, 2007, due to the unauthorised charges. In court documents, airline officials said US$3,346.32 was deducted from his salary, leaving $53,263.27 to be repaid.

Attempts to reach Mr. Hicks and his attorney for comment about this story were not successful by press time.

A spokesperson for Cayman Airways declined to discuss the matter.

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