Sleep Inn Manager Accused Of Redirecting $873K In Credit Card Payments To Personal Account

sleepinnA former manager at a Sleep Inn hotel in Michigan is accused of taking advantage of the chain’s credit card payment system to issue nearly $900,000 in bogus refunds to her credit card accounts.

It worked like this, according to Mlive.com — As general manager at the hotel, the suspect oversaw the processing of credit card payments. Hotels often don’t charge cards until after a guest’s stay is completed, but an authorization for the estimated amount of the payment is sought, putting the funds in limbo for a short period of time.

So what the manager did was go into the third-party system that tracks these authorizations and manually enter her credit card information under actual guests’ names. Then she would issue “refunds” to those customers, but the money would actually go to her account.

In all, authorities say she managed to get away with $872,929.23 in fraudulent refunds over the course of seven years.

She now faces 15 counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.

Sleep Inn is part of the Choice Hotels network of hotels, which includes Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, EconoLodge, and Clarion.