CEO Sued by Amex for Topless Bar Bill

NEW YORK — Don’t leave home without it, unless, perhaps, like Robert McCormick, you plan to spend nearly a quarter of a million dollars at a topless club with it.

Officials at American Express announced earlier this week they were suing McCormick, CEO of multi-million dollar communications company Savvis, for $241,000 in disputed credit card charges, all incurred at Scores, a Manhattan topless club.

McCormick isn’t denying he visited the club, but claims “only” $20,000 of the charges was actually his.

“We firmly believe that Mr. McCormick was the victim of fraud,” said Savvis' Deputy General Deena Williamson in a prepared statement.

No further information was given by representatives at Savvis or American Express, but court documents claim American Express asked McCormick for written evidence that his charges were fraudulent on “several occasions,” and that McCormick never followed through with the company’s request.

This is not the first time Scores has been at the center of a contested credit card controversy, however, and anyone familiar with the industry can attest that overcharges are frequently claimed by topless club patrons.

The McCormick case is at least the third to hit Scores, which was sued by two previous patrons for disputed $28,000 and $129,000 bills.

Lonnie Hanover, a Scores spokesman, declined to comment on how McCormick incurred the charges, but said many elite patrons spend up to $10,000 for lap dances at the club. Hanover also said that every time a customer spends more than $10,000, the customer’s credit card company is notified for approval.

“We [get] authorization for all of the charges,” Hanover said. “We followed proper procedures and documentation, and we were paid.”