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Credit Card Applications » News » Other » Former Red Cross Employee Charged With Credit Card Fraud

Former Red Cross Employee Charged With Credit Card Fraud

March 10, 2010
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Mary Ann Bandarek, 28, of St. Paul, a former staff of American Red Cross North Central Blood Services is facing charges of credit card fraud for unauthorized purchases. Bandarek who previously worked for American Red Cross as an HR officer, was given a credit card by her company to be strictly used for official transactions. However, she is now facing allegations of using the credit card to pay for expenses unrelated to what it was originally designed for.

The case started when a hotel's staff became suspicious of a man who stated that his house has been blown away by Tornado Hugo and that Red Cross is paying for his hotel accommodations. Police were called in and confronted the man, who at that time was also arrested for driving after suspension.

During the course of the interrogation, the man confessed that he was not a victim of Tornado Hugo, and that his hotel room bills were not being shouldered by the American Red Cross. The man identified Bardarek as the one who used her company authorized credit card to pay for his hotel bills. The man also had a woman companion staying in an adjacent room also paid for by Bardarek. Police later found out that that the said lady had an erotic services ad in Craigslist.

The man confessed that he was previously committed to Bandarek and that the woman with him in the hotel is his current girlfriend. Authorities suspect the man and woman to be members of a prostitution ring.

When police did a background check of Bandarek's credit card records, they found that she had previously made a number of suspicious personal transactions.

Bandarek was initially issued by American Red Cross a visa credit card for official purposes. She was also made to sign an agreement that she would adhere to policies of the company regarding credit card use.

However, she failed to honor her obligation and used her credit card for restaurant bills, car rentals, and hotel accommodations. She also faked invoices to make it look like her personal charges were official in nature.

In December of 2008, American Red Cross confronted her regarding the unauthorized purchases on her card and Bandarek replied that her credit card must have been stolen. The charitable group promptly issued her another card.

However, she continued to rack up unofficial bills and purchases with the new credit card and was eventually forced to resign from the company in May of 2009, when American Red Cross again found out about her spending sprees.

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  • With the Virgin / Barclaycard signature offer, there seems to be some consumer deception or maybe even outright fraud goin on.   I decided to jump on this offer..  read all the info on it..  was approved for their platinum card, paid the fee, then was only awarded 10,000 points instead of the advertised 20,000.   When i inquired about the less than advertised bonus points, Barclaycard claims only Signiture Visa cardmembers get the 20,000..  as a platinum cardholder, you don't qualify for that level of bonus, so you get 10k instead.   Well, in their current ongoing promotions, it states plain as day that....    Applicants approved for the Visa Signature or Platinum Card with $49 annual fee will receive 20,000 Bonus Points awarded to your Virgin America Rewards Account at the close of the first billing statement in which you make your first purchase or balance transfer (that is not returned or rescinded) and have paid the Annual Fee on the account (and such fee is not rescinded). They don't mention anything about a separate program for platinum cardholders..  However, trying to get someone to resolve this issue with either Virgin or Barclaycard seems to be rather impossible.. Seems to me they're simply drawing people in with the fraudulent offer, then simply saying, oh, we're sorry you don't qualify..  but thanks for signing up for our garbage credit card with insane fees..   
  • CreditLandCom
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  • deborahellsworth
     would very much like to start a new credit history  by making payments on time I would tohave a credit card that is NOT PREPAYID! I don't need a card with a high limit just something to start a new credit history. Thank You Deborah Ellsworth
  • deborahellsworth
    I would very much like to start a new credit line to get back on track. I DO NOT WANT A PREPAID CARD!! This new credit card if I am approved does not have to hace a high limit just something for me to start over again and prove myself ThankYou. D Ellsworth
  • there is a huge problem with the RFIP chip: it is easily compromised. There are already 'readers' in the form of what looks like a cellphone in a case, that scans all the info in the chip by merely walking near a person -- this 'reader' penetrates leather, cloth, spandex, etc. The only thing it will NOT penetrate is METAL. Perhaps one has seen commercials touting metal credit card cases. Here is my hint for a free fix: cut a piece of aluminum foil or use the foil that is used to keep foods fresh, like coffee. Cut it so that when folded once, it forms a sleeve for your credit card. place the credit card in the sleeve, then place the sleeve in your wallet.
  • I am looking to apply for the AARP Visa signature card from Chase that offers $100 after spend $500 in first 3 months, no annual fee and 0% interest first year; I don't want to mail in offer because of having to write in Social security #. Can you direct me to the proper on-line site?
  • CreditLandCom
    The Chase bank cards are not currently available at Credit-Land.com, but you can consider applying for the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card - $100 Cash Back. The cards has similar terms and cash back program.
  • disqus_kAtnCPlNM9
    This is Becky Now what do I do just waqit for acard to come to me?
  • CreditLandCom
    Once you have applied, you should receive a letter within 10 business days letting you know if you were approved and when your card will arrive. If you did not receive any letter or notification from the issuer, you should contact them directly. Also, you should contact the issuer if you’ve been waiting for your credit card longer than 30 days. Since we are not a bank and don’t issue credit cards, we cannot give you any information about your application or credit card.
  • SavingStar
    Thank you for posting about SavingStar. Just to clarify one sentence in your article, we have over 5 million members (not 500). Thanks, Josh
  • CreditLandCom
    Sorry for the misprint. We’ve corrected the sentence. Thank you for noticing that.
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