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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Alleged 'Hipster Grifter' Accused of Sticking Mother Jones Magazine With $13,000 Credit Card Bill

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Sammie Carr as Sable Jones -- in a dress Mother Jones staffers say he bought with the company's credit card - COURTESY MOTHER JONES
  • Courtesy Mother Jones
  • Sammie Carr as Sable Jones -- in a dress Mother Jones staffers say he bought with the company's credit card
Fraud is one of the few growth industries in San Francisco, and there's apparently not much we can do about it. Even nonprofits are getting ripped off these days.

For example, take San Francisco's very own accused hipster grifter: Sammie Carr. Near the beginning of March, Mother Jones Magazine, a San Francisco-based nonprofit news organization, hired a charming new secretary named Sammie Carr (or, as he was better known to some, Sable Jones). 

In his first couple weeks of work, according to former co-workers, Carr seemed too good to be true. Everyone loved him (Full disclosure: I was an intern at Mother Jones when Carr was working his secretary job). Even the hotel manager down the street at Hotel Rex loved him. In fact, Carr somehow magically arranged for the hotel to host a complimentary happy hour for the entire staff of the nonprofit in just his second week on the job. But when he wasn't charming his way into the hearts of his colleagues and higher-ups, credit card bills indicate that Carr was allegedly out shopping. A lot.

In less than a month, Carr is accused of spending over $13,000 -- all courtesy of Mother Jones' corporate credit card. His alleged purchases included tickets to the 2010 adult video porn awards, a brand new Apple laptop computer, airplane tickets to Philadelphia, a membership to Gold's Gym, makeup from Sephora (over $200 worth), camera equipment, cab fare, restaurants, and more. Officials at the nonprofit claim it took them a few weeks to catch on because, as part of his job description, Carr sorted the mail.

When Carr's bosses saw that the bill was late, they checked online. That's when they discovered the shopping spree. But by the time they had gathered all of the evidence together, Carr had slipped quietly out of the building. 

It has now been over two months since Mother Jones made its original call to report the crime with the San Francisco Police Department. Carr is still at large, and the nonprofit hasn't seen any of its fraud insurance money thanks to a drawn out process of getting the police report filed. Although Mother Jones handed reams of evidence to the police, the backlog and lack of resources at the SFPD fraud unit means that getting to the case against Carr could take months. Incidentally, Mother Jones officials gently suggest the police should heed the journalistic maxim to "follow the money" -- they claim Carr recently filed for unemployment.

Although there's a good chance that Carr is still in the Bay Area, there's also an indication that he might be wising up. This Saturday, Carr was scheduled to perform as Sable Jones in "Dancing with the Drag Stars," San Francisco's version of the hit television series.

But Sable backed out at the last minute. No reason was given.


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Anna McCarthy


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