crack cocaine with her husband's company credit card

by Decatur Daily

Woman uses card to buy crack, fibs when bill comes, police say

By Scott Parrott
DAILY Staff Writer

A Decatur Alabama woman bought crack cocaine with her husband's company credit card, then lied to him and police as they searched for an explanation to the $7,500 bill, authorities said.

It was the second time the woman was accused of giving false information to police to cover a drug deal, records show.

Richard Albano found unauthorized charges last week that included steak meals, hotel rooms and a rental car on his credit card bill.

He notified police, who launched an investigation.

His wife, Joetta Hatton Albano, first named two suspects, claiming they stole the card number, police said.

She also said the suspects threatened her family during telephone calls.

But she later admitted to lying in the first police report, authorities said. The hotel rooms, the steak dinners and the rental car actually served as payments for crack, police said.

She filed the false report after receiving the bill, which cost more than she anticipated, police said.

Police charged Joetta Albano, 45, with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor.

She remained in Decatur City Jail in lieu of $500 bond.

The company could still press theft charges, authorities said.

Joetta Albano, of 2253 Westmeade Drive S.W., told police in January 2000 that two armed robbers forced their way into her car while she was taking her teenage son to school, according to a report.

The report alarmed residents near Austin High School. Police worked to find the alleged attackers. The investigation revealed, however, it was a failed drug deal in a different section of town, authorities said.

Police wasted 60 investigative man-hours on the case, authorities said.

She was charged with filing a false police report.

Posted on Aug 27, 2002, 10:57 AM

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