US telecoms firm Savvis Communications has put its chief executive Robert McCormick on unpaid leave while it investigates allegations relating to an un-paid American Express bill for $241,000 which he allegedly racked up at a Manhattan strip club.
American Express has filed a lawsuit against McCormick and Savvis, which claims that the charge - which was billed to McCormick's corporate credit card two years ago - is still outstanding.
It is thought that McCormick rang up the $241,000 charges during a single visit to New York's Scores nightclub while entertaining a group of business acquaintances. According to press reports McCormick claims to have spent only $20,000 at the club and believes he was a victim of card fraud.
In a statement Savvis says McCormick did not submit the charges in question to the firm for reimbursement and that it has not made any payment to American Express related to them.
Savvis says it is conducting a full investigation into matters relating to a lawsuit and has hired law firm Sullivan & Cromwell as independent counsel.
McCormick has been placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Jack Finlayson, president and chief operating officer, has been appointed acting CEO.