A St. Petersburg woman is facing a felony charge after police said she used company credit cards to buy about $100,000 worth of Walgreens gift cards.
Kerri Faye Thomas, 32, is facing a charge of scheme to defraud and was being held at the Pinellas County jail Monday in lieu of $100,000 bail. An attorney has filed a not guilty plea on her behalf.
Clearwater police say that Thomas worked in the accounting department at Stratus Video, a Clearwater company that provides videoconferencing services within hospitals. She was authorized to use a few company credit cards for small expenses.
Police determined that she used the cards hundreds of times to buy the Walgreens cards, which she recorded as legitimate travel expenses, an arrest affidavit states. The scheme also involved making it appear that an ex-employee was responsible for the expenses, the affidavit states.
The company discovered the fraud when Thomas was on vacation. When they emailed her asking to talk about the Walgreens cards, she replied with a resignation email and never showed up at work again, the affidavit states.
A detective also reviewed Walgreens surveillance video that shows Thomas picking up gift cards, the affidavit states, and interviewed Walgreens employees who identified her as a woman who “made regular, large gift-card purchases.”