Extreme Overshopping Leads To Legal Troubles

Lisa Walker, 42, of New York City, more commonly known as Antoinette Millard, charged nearly a million dollars of goods on her no-limit American Express card during a three-month period in 2004. The former investment banker, who quit her job and pretended to be a Saudi Princess, tried to buy her way into high society. Invited to antique, fashion, and jewelry shows, Millard bought expensive jewelry, which she constantly returned and “traded up” for more and more expensive pieces. She made numerous false claims about her identity and personal life, saying she’d been a lawyer, a model, and a bank vice-president, and claiming to be waiting for a windfall divorce settlement.

In May of ‘04, Millard made her biggest false claim. She said she’d beenmugged in Manhattan and robbed of $262,000 worth of jewelry, and she filed an insurance claim with Chubb & Co. The insurers, however, were not persuaded. They accused her of fraud, forgery, and grand larceny, and she eventually pled guilty to grand larceny and insurance fraud. Sentenced to a year of inpatient treatment, her assets seized by American Express, Millard began treatment at New York Presbyterian Hospital and three months later was discharged to the Wekiva Springs Center for Women, in Jacksonville, Florida. In April of this year, she was arrested again, for buying and returning jewelry and making false identity claims. Wekiva Springs argues that her supervised mall trips were part of the court-ordered treatment, but the Flor-ida Assistant District Attorney is dubious. The sad shopping soap-opera continues, with a hearing this month on the latest charges.

By Carrie Rattle

Carrie Rattle is a Principal at BehavioralCents.com, a website for women focused on mind and money behaviors. She has worked in the financial services industry for 20+ years and hopes to inspire women to better prepare themselves for financial independence. Read More