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Savvis, CEO are sued over topless club bill

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    McCormick can't stay out of trouble...

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  • Savvis, CEO are sued over topless club bill

    Savvis, CEO are sued over topless club bill
    By Christopher Mumma
    Thursday, Oct. 20 2005


    Savvis Inc. and its chief executive, Robert McCormick, are being sued by
    American Express Co., which alleges that he ran up a $241,000 bill for a night
    at the Scores topless club in Manhattan that Savvis won't pay for.

    The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in state Supreme Court in New York, alleges that
    McCormick and at least three "business acquaintances" spent lavishly on a
    single night's entertainment at the club on Oct. 22, 2003, charged the tab to
    his company charge card and later disputed the bill.

    Savvis, a provider of networking services based in Town and Country, Mo., said
    McCormick was at Scores, though the company says his charges totaled only about
    $20,000, the suit says. After performing its own investigation, American
    Express paid Scores, the suit says.

    "The circumstances are such that equity and good conscience require Savvis and
    McCormick to make restitution," the suit says.

    Deena Williamson, the deputy general counsel at Savvis, on Thursday said, "We
    firmly believe that Mr. McCormick was a victim of fraud here."

    Williamson said that McCormick had been at Scores, but she declined to comment
    on any other detail, such as the nature of his business in New York or any
    charges he may have made on the trip.

    Williamson said Savvis couldn't acknowledge any of the dollar amounts in the
    American Express complaint, which she said she had yet to see.

    Judy Tenzer, a spokeswoman for American Express, declined to comment on the

    Lonnie Hanover, a spokesman for Scores, said the club has strict procedures for
    dealing with big-spending clients. When charges reach $10,000, the customer is
    classified as an "extreme high roller" and fingerprinted, and steps are taken
    to confirm the client's identity.

    As charges climb, Scores employees remain in hourly contact with the
    credit-card provider, he said. "We handle extreme high rollers from around the
    world in an extremely special manner," he said.

    Hanover said he was unaware of the specific charges on McCormick's bill.

    McCormick, 40, is married and lives in Clayton.

    Scores has been sued twice in the last two years by customers alleging they'd
    been overcharged - once by a Swiss Re executive who spent $28,000, and then by
    a Bangladeshi diplomat who spent $129,600. Both suits are pending in Manhattan
    Supreme Court.