Following yesterday’s report on B&T that former Seven West Media employee, Amber Harrison, ran up more than $500,000 on company credit cards and even signed-off on her own expenses comes more revelations today on the actual purchases.
Harrison, of course, is the former mistress of Seven CEO, Tim Worner, and the two parties are presently in a legal tussle over Harrison’s termination payout which includes a court imposed gag order on the former PA.
The Australian Financial Review is in possession of a 25-page document tended by Seven’s lawyers to the NSW Supreme Court that details Harrison’s spending while she was employed as Pacific Magazine’s CEO, Nick Chan’s, personal assistant from 2009 until her termination from the company in 2014.
The AFR journalist, Aaron Patrick, has seen the list of expenses which he described as “almost comical”. It again calls into the question the largesse of media companies and why the police were not called in the first place.
Seven’s lawyers are trying to discredit Harrison over her misuse of the cards and detract from her affair with Worner.
The latest revelation is that Harrison spent $534,355 on company credit cards over a five year period, most of which appeared to be legitimate work expenses. Harrison has admitted that $54,000 of it was for personal use, monies she has reportedly paid back. However, Seven are claiming a further $262,000 can’t be accounted for.
According to The AFR, the expenses included trips to a host of swanky restaurants in Sydney, presumably to court advertisers into Pac Mags’ stable of titles. Eateries included Sean’s Kitchen, Rockpool Bar and Grill, Cafe Sydney, China Doll and Red Lantern.
Other expenses appeared to be for staff leaving presents and included $250 for theatre tickets and $305 in children’s clothing. There’s also a bill to stock Nick Chan’s booze cabinet to the tasty tune of $497.
Harrison has admitted to using the cards for personal use and bought herself luxury hotel stays, international flights, clothes, restaurants, an iPad, day spas, trips to a weight loss clinic and a hypnotherapist, concert tickets and trips to the hairdresser.
Harrison’s spending had come to the attention of Seven’s bosses even before she started the affair with Worner. An early investigation by Deloitte found “extensive and deliberate efforts by Ms Harrison to conceal personal expenditure”.
According to today’s AFR article, when Harrison was terminated she was given an offer where by she would be given a dollar for every dollar of the $534,355 she could prove were legitimate expenses. Ultimately, she was offered $350,000 and the remaining $184,000 was simply unaccounted for.
As Patrick concludes in his article: “That’s right. Seven rewarded Harrison for not entirely ripping it off.”