Clayton vet 'betrayed' after employee accused of stealing customers' credit card info

Clayton vet 'betrayed' after employee accused of stealing customers' credit card info
Jennifer Nicole Meadows (Clayton Police)
Jennifer Nicole Meadows (Clayton Police)

CLAYTON, NC (WNCN) - A Clayton Animal Hospital employee is behind bars after police say she knowingly made more than 200 fraudulent online credit card purchases using her employer's and pet owners' card numbers.

Dr. Mike Bagley has been in business in Clayton for more than 30 years and this particular employee was with him for more than a decade.

He said he never saw this coming, but he's doing everything in his power to make the situation right.

"Obviously you feel betrayed," Bagley said. "You know you look for why did this person who apparently had done a wonderful job for 11 years, why did this person suddenly start doing this?"

Clayton Police arrested Bagley's former receptionist, 30-year-old Jennifer Meadows, this week.

Police say she used credit cards from 15 different people to make purchases totaling more than $11,000. Police say the purchases were made on Amazon for things like coach purses, a Star wars Chewbacca figure and a cordless drill.

Bagley says they first got wind of it when one of his employees saw a charge on their business credit card for Victoria's Secret.

"We laughed about it and I had her check that out and just tell them you would obviously never use an animal hospital credit card to purchase women's underwear," Bagley said.

He later found out it wasn't a mistake.

Staff at the animal hospital have been working to get to the bottom of this for months. They created a binder with all the fraudulent charges they believe were made on their company credit cards as well as a list of clients that they believe may also have been targeted.

Sherry Smith was one of the first victims. She says meadows used her credit card to buy an ATV.

"I'm like, 'what do you mean there's a $1,000 charge on our credit card from Texas?'"

Smith says when she realized Meadows was behind it, she burst into tears.

"We actually had our dog put down the week before and she was there with us." Smith said. "She held our hand, she cried with us."

Bagley says if she had just used his credit cards, he would have chalked it up to the cost of doing business.

"What makes this especially painful and troubling and tough for us is that my clients who have trusted us to do the right thing by them that their trust was also betrayed," Bagley said. "As Ronald Regan would say, 'It's my watch. It's my responsibility.'"

The office manager says the pet owners who were targeted had set up future payments and that information was kept in a safe.

They say even though Meadows is gone they bought a new safe that only management has access to.

They also say they have computers in every exam room and are now checking everyone out in the exam room so their credit card never leaves that room.

Police believe there could be other victims, if you have any information contact the Clayton Police Department.