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Sunday, September 11, 2005
  Sticking to the necessities
New York Daily News - Daily Dish & Gossip - Ben Widdicombe's Gatecrasher: Lavish tastes of card-carrying lowlifes: "Profiteering ghouls have been using debit cards distributed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina - intended to buy essentials for evacuated families - in luxury-goods stores as far away as Atlanta.

'We've seen three of the cards,' said a senior employee of the Louis Vuitton store at the Lenox Square Mall in affluent Buckhead, who asked not to be named. 'Two I'm certain have purchased; one actually asked if she could use it in the store. This has been since Saturday.'

The distinctive white cards were distributed by the Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and carry a value of up to $2,000.

'It doesn't say anything on the card other than alcohol, tobacco and firearms cannot be purchased with it,' the store employee told me. 'There's nothing legally that prevents us from taking it, unfortunately. Other than morally, it's wrong.'

The source told me that the two women who had made purchases with the card each bought a signature monogrammed Louis Vuitton handbag in the $800 range."
 
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