Look, we all sneak a little me-time on the company dime, but there’s a difference between a 10-minute Instagram hole and 1,265-hour Friends binge. In the case of one ex-employee who’s being sued by Robert De Niro’s Canal Productions, that difference could add up to $6 million.
As NBC News reports, Canal filed suit against its former president of production and finance Graham Chase Robinson for “breaching her fiduciary duties, violation of the faithless service doctrine and conversion.” The suit accuses Robinson of spending an “astounding” amount of time binge-watching TV shows on Netflix, such as one four-day period back in January where she watched 55 episodes of Friends. (She must have really been shipping Ross and Rachel, because she added another 32 episodes the following Saturday.)
Ironically, Robinson’s duties included making sure employees weren’t misusing company funds, and that’s exactly what she’s also accused of. After being promoted in 2017, Robinson allegedly used Canal’s American Express card to charge “hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses,” including taxi and Uber rides, a Louis Vuitton handbag, Whole Foods groceries, iPhones, and a dog sitter. At one point, she expensed $4,000 and used company frequent flyer miles for a Los Angeles trip so she could pick up and deliver signed Taxi Driver coffee table books; turns out, the books weren’t delivered until after Robinson had left LA. The lawsuit claims she used the expensed cash for luxury meals and a hotel to attend a friend’s birthday party.
Robinson allegedly took numerous vacations like this, transferring over five million frequent flyer miles (that’s a $125,000 value) from Canal Production’s account to her own. Amazingly, she also faked a claim that she had accrued up 96 unused vacation days over four years, collecting “in excess of $70,000” as a pay out. According to the lawsuit, emails not only prove Robinson took those days off, she actually exceeded her allotted time.
Mind you, all this was going on while Robinson was receiving a $300,000 yearly salary.
NBC News notes that Canal Production is seeking $3 million for Robinson’s “misappropriated” funds and property, plus another $3 million for her “disloyalty and violation or the faithless servant doctrine.” Could she be anymore screwed?