A banker was fired after trying to expense 2 sandwiches, 2 pastas, and 2 coffees, and saying he ate everything himself — before later admitting he shared them with his partner

Szabolcs Fekete initially said that he had consumed the 2 sandwiches, 2 pastas, and 2 coffees by himself Alexandr Spatari/Getty Images

  • A Citibank employee attempted to claim several dishes on expenses, saying he had eaten it all himself.

  • The banker later admitted that he had shared the food with his partner and was fired by Citibank.

  • A judge ruled in the bank’s favor in a wrongful dismissal lawsuit.

Banking giant Citibank has won an employment lawsuit against an employee who was fired for claiming expenses for food and drink for his partner during a business trip, and subsequently misleading the bank about it.

Former analyst Szabolcs Fekete had sued the bank for unfair dismissal after being fired last year for gross misconduct over the expenses claim. He initially said that he had consumed the two sandwiches, two pasta dishes, and two coffees by himself during a business trip to Amsterdam, but later acknowledged that his partner had shared some of the food.

In an email exchange with his supervisor, the Citibank employee said that he had “checked the receipt and did not see anything out of order… I was on the business trip by myself and I had 2 coffees as they were very small.”

In response, Mr Fekete’s senior manager said that the receipt “appears to have two sandwiches, two coffees, and another drink . . . Are you advising that this was all consumed by you?”

Mr Fekete confirmed this was the case, saying that all his expenses were within Citibank’s daily spending allowance, and argued that he should not “have to justify my eating habits to this extent.”

The bank also questioned whether he had shared two dinners of pesto pasta and pasta Bolognese with his partner, but Mr Fekete said that this was not the case.

He later admitted that he had shared the food, which he expensed to his employer, with his partner, and was ultimately dismissed by the bank.

Mr. Fekete argued that there were mitigating factors, including the recent loss of his grandmother and that he was on strong medication when he replied to the emails.

Judge Illing, presiding over the case, concluded that his dismissal was fair, as Mr. Fekete was not initially honest about the misclaimed expense.

“In considering the substantial merits of this case, I have found that this case is not about the sums of money involved,” he said.

“It is significant that the claimant did not make a full and frank disclosure at the first opportunity and that he did not answer questions directly.”

Citibank did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider

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