Allen Iverson might be a complete bust for the Detroit Pistons, sucking up millions of dollars in salary while holding back playing time for rising star Rodney Stuckey. But at least he’s playing, and the Pistons are getting something of value out of him every night. So the title of the biggest fraud at The Palace of Auburn Hills has to go to Amy McDonald.
Who is she? She’s the former accounting manager for the venue who is accused of embezzling more than $1.5 million over the course of more than two years. And after spending months on the run, the DETROIT NEWS is reporting that she and her husband Erik have been arrested in New Orleans, and are in the process of being sent back to Detroit to face trial.
The Palace filed suit against McDonald in May, saying that she allegedly used corporate credit cards to ring up charges of $1.8 million over a 2 1/2 year period. McDonald repeatedly denied the charges, but then mysteriously left town a few weeks later, leaving behind a home filed with expensive electronics and exotic firearms.
Investigators aren’t saying if any of the funds have been recovered, but based on McDonald’s lavish spending habits, I’m going to guess the answer is no. Along with the electronics and guns, she is allegedly to have purchased vehicles, utilities, lavish vacations and even paid her husband’s court-ordered child support to a previous wife.
I’m constantly amazed by the hubris of people who embezzle from their employers. A few hundred dollars here and there probably won’t be missed. But $1.8 million? Chances are, someone is eventually going to catch on. Of course, the fact that it took Palace executives more than two years to question those trips to Bimini on the corporate card isn’t a great sign, either.
Just keep this story in mind the next time you pay $20 for parking at a Pistons game and wonder where the money is going.