- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - An Arizona computer engineer for a Missouri-based tech company wrongly racked up nearly a half million dollars in personal charges on his employer’s credit card, lavishing much of the money on online strippers, according to a federal indictment accusing him of five wire-fraud counts.

The indictment returned against John David Berrett last Thursday in St. Louis alleges he tried to conceal the misconduct involving more than $476,000 between September 2013 and last October by filing bogus expense reports, claiming he spent the money on traveling to meet, train and entertain his customers of his employer, World Wide Technology Inc.

According to the indictment, Berrett, 40, bought tokens used to pay online strippers he watched via webcam and tipped them about 2,200 times for a total of more than $100,000, in one case giving a dancer about $27,000 to pay for her college tuition, replace her vehicle’s tires and cover her parents’ utility bill. His favorite performers also got such gifts as chocolates, flowers, wine, shoes, a handbag, a television, a laptop and an iPod, the indictment alleges.

Berrett submitted phony expense reports to hide the misspending, in one case claiming a digital piano, headphones and extended warranty worth about $2,300 for a stripper was fiber-optic cables, disc drives and patch cords, according to the indictment. Berrett also allegedly bought a sexual device for himself.

No attorney for Berrett, of Gilbert, Arizona, is listed in court records. A home telephone listing for him could not immediately be found Tuesday.

World Wide Technology describes itself as a 25-year-old, privately held “global systems integrator” with about $6.7 billion in annual revenue last year and more than 3,000 employees. A message left Tuesday with the company by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.

The indictment alleges that after being hired by World Wide Technology in late 2004, Berrett initially was a senior engineer before advancing to a “national solutions architect,” tasked with traveling to meet U.S. and global customers to provide information technology training and support.

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