16 People Reveal the Craziest Thing Someone Has Tried To Expense To Their Work Account.

A company credit card seems like a sort of a magical object. One that frees a person to all of life's treasures. Except, that's not really how it works. Some people had to find this out the hard way...

Here are sixteen of the craziest things people have actually tried to expense at work.

Many thanks to reddit user Wood80 for posing this question. You can check out more answers from the link at the end of this article!

1/16. A friend of mine is the head of HR for a large engineering firm. The CEO expenses the captain of his yacht.


2/16. Some guy at my mom's company was expensing this consultant at $15,000 a month. One of the secretaries googled her name and found out she was a 19 year old bartender or something he was sleeping with.


3/16. My dad does budget stuff for the Navy. They had a sailor that had a job requiring him to have a navy credit card. He then used said credit card to buy a plane ticket down to Peru and got arrested in an airport trying to smuggle back a large amount of cocaine.

The shitty part is now they have to wait for him to get out of Peruvian prison to process him out of the navy/prosecute him here.


4/16. I was once emailed the company's new expense protocol in the middle of a meal, and discovered that there was now a fifty-dollar limit for any solo meals eaten on business trips.

I'd already accrued sixty bucks in charges that night (they stuck me in a fancy hotel with an overpriced restaurant), so my solution was to order another filet mignon plus two desserts, and claim I ate with the client.

That gave me a $200 limit, which I comfortably stayed under.


5/16. In the Internet bubble days, our CEO had a Lamborghini he expensed. Then the CTO tried the same thing with a Ferrari and was fired.

No lie.


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6/16. Here is a short list of reimbursements I've had to deal with:

Shipping white tiger (personal) across the country


$1,800 per month vehicle lease

$26,000 per month rent reimbursement

International airfare for spouse in another country (did not have a spouse before they left - nor mentioned the possibility of acquiring one)

70" 4k TV

500 bottle wine collection

Executives are fun.


7/16. A scientist at a lab I used to work at was working on an experiment and realized that he needed a signal amplifier. It didn't need to be super accurate, but it did need to magnify the hell out of the input if he was going to measure anything.

It was just before Christmas and half the staff were already on vacation, including most of the procurement department. Plus, even if procurement was in, it'd take two weeks for the parts to arrive and he needed to perform the measurement now. Thinking quickly, he got a hold of the lab credit card, drove down to the local RadioShack, and bought their most expensive amplifier. Brought the amp back to the lab, hooked it up, and proceeded with the experiment.

Come January, he has the awkward position of trying to convince accounting that buying a $500 stereo on Christmas Eve was a legitimate business expense.


8/16. I used to approve expense reports as a sales manager. Three incidents come to mind:

Took one of my young salespeople out to a monthly one-on-one lunch, grabbed the check and said I'd pay it because I could expense it. This was built into my operating budget and perfectly fine with ownership. A few weeks later she submitted her monthly expense report and every lunch she had bought since that day was on there. She thought expensing all lunches was OK based on me expensing the lunch we had together. She was new to the job and didn't know any better so I explained it to her and had her resubmit her report.

Different job, group meeting in SF. A bunch of guys (I wasn't there) go out to dinner, drinks and a strip club. One of the dudes hands his expense report in and it includes a $100 "lap dance." His boss was a friend of mine and told me he had paid for it with his corporate Amex.

One more...

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National sales meeting at the Rio in Vegas. A bunch of our colleagues from the UK were there and walked in one morning straight from a night of partying, still drunk. The company had a very liberal expense policy for entertainment but rejected the $5K+ expense report for bottle service one of the guys submitted. Yes, they had spent five thousand dollars in one night on bottle service at one of the casino clubs.


9/16. $500 meal. 3 people.

Owner asked said employees what they did with the rest of the cow.


10/16. I worked at a place where a VP got fired for expensing a Harley Davidson motorcycle.


11/16. A guy used to work at my company who played our expense policy like a fiddle.

He would always volunteer to drive, everywhere, all the time. People thought he was just being nice or maybe was a bit of a control freak, but the real reason he volunteered was so that he could expense every single mile driven. We're talking half mile drive to lunch when people were happy to walk. He would submit an expense report for the mile round trip drive.

Rumor had it that he kept a second family in Europe, and he regularly scheduled trips there to spend time with them, all on the company dime. As far as I know, there was never any proof so he wasn't fired for it.

He would regularly weasel in to other groups for lunch and dinner during big company conferences when everyone would be expensing all meals, because the company rules state that the check be paid by the highest ranking individual and then they list all employees who were on the check. This guy would hear a group of friends from a department he didn't work in planning to head to lunch, and then force them to invite him along so that he could sneak onto their check and have his lunch expense allocated to their department rather than his.

Even after he was fired, he continued to patronize the subsidized employee cafeteria, where he had a deal with the chef that he could take home all the leftover soup at the end of the day. He claimed he was taking it to drop off at a homeless shelter, but he was actually taking it home and eating it. He did not pay for it.

Ron, you're the WORST.


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12/16. We spent 17k at a strip club at our holiday party with some clients. Got a slap on the wrist. Would not recommend doing this.


13/16. I am going to claim the title of the most NSFW thing that had the most scrutiny and yet went through as legit.

One of my coworkers had to expense four blow up dolls once... on a state purchasing card (state pcards are tax free and heavily audited for that reason).

Best part: it was for a totally valid reason.

We were testing the dispersion of shrapnel from an explosive round. Our body simulacrums hadn't arrived and well... long story short a tax free state purchasing card was used to purchase four blow up dolls from a nearby sex shop that were then used on a munitions test range. If dolly deflated, round was effective. multiple uses possible with the judicious application of tape.

When questioned we pointed out the cost of the range was about 10k a day. the cost of the personnel on site was about the same if not more, and that we basically saved the state 20k+ per day we would have been waiting for the body simulacrums.

We weren't worried about damage assessment but simply shrapnel dispersion so we didn't need realistic bodies, just human shapes that you can easily tell if they took a hit or not.


14/16. I heard this story from my Dad.

A guy was on a business trip and used his company card to go to a bar and get really drunk; he ended up at a strip club by the end of the night and spent something like $15000. He woke up the next morning in full panic mode and decided he would call the company theft department and say someone stole his card, seemingly forgetting that he had had to call the company credit card department to ask them to raise his credit limit the night before.

Definitely got caught in that lie and caused the entire company to change its reimbursement policy.


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15/16. A mid-level non-manager put a family vacation (with 5 or 6 kids) in the $7,000 range on a company credit card. This was 10+ years ago, so I unfortunately don't exactly remember how she tried to justify it as a business expense.

The most ridiculous part of the story is she was simply put on probation and asked to pay it back.


16/16. When I was in college, the student government had a retreat.

They submitted a receipt from the liquor store for reimbursement. Not only was it prohibited to buy alcohol with school money, it was against school policy to allow drinking during school functions (I am not even sure all the members were of legal drinking age).

It did not go over well.



When in doubt.... be a Karen! LOL

We've all seen them and at times we may have been one A KAREN! You know who that is.... a difficult person, that's describing it politely. Karen's make scenes and do all that is necessary to get anything and everything their way. Working in any form of a service job, Karens are your worst nightmare.

Redditor u/externalodyssey wanted to hear from everybody about their Karen encounters by asking.... Managers of Reddit - what is a Karen experience like ? What was you worst experience ?

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