Woman Goes To Jail For Spending $1 Million Of Corporate Money On Spas & Vacations

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
There are countless stories of people misusing company credit cards, but there's a big difference between overspending on a celebratory dinner and flat-out credit card fraud. On Monday, the San Diego Tribune published a story about a California woman who apparently spent thousands of dollars of company money on spas, vacations, and other personal matters.

According to the Tribune, former Hewlett-Packard employee Holli Dawn Coulman charged corporate credit cards nearly $1 million for personal expenses. She used company money to pay for lavish hotels and airfare to Europe, clothing from Neiman Marcus, and relaxing spa vacations. The executive assistant managed to cover it up by intercepting any emails to her boss that questioned those charges. Coulman was also able to approve her own fraudulent expenses because her administrative job gave her full access to her boss's email.

“It’s almost as if we have two people here," U.S. district judge Michael Anello said of the 45-year-old defendant, who pled guilty to wire fraud. Coulman had no previous criminal record, and her lawyer cited her history of working with military families and helping elderly neighbors in hopes of getting her reduced jail time.

On Monday, Judge Anello sentenced Coulman to 21 months in prison, and she must repay the $954,000 in installments of $3,000 per month.

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