7 Million Delta SkyMiles Were Stolen From Robert DeNiro, He Claims They’re Worth 4.3 Cents Apiece

Robert DeNiro is suing his former assistant-turned-Vice President of Production and Finance for misappropriating company funds, including using the corporate Amex for personal trips – and for stealing his 7 million Delta SkyMiles.

According to the suit she used,

the company American Express card to buy food, Uber trips, dog sitting, groceries, cameras, iPhones, Pilates classes, dry-cleaning, and flowers, and also alleged she had ‘helped’ herself to petty cash.

…[And] improperly used [the company]’s credit cards to buy taxis and cover her food costs while on vacation in London, and alleged she charged $2,600 for a stay at the Montage Hotel on a trip to Los Angeles, as well as $156 for dinner at Nobu, $604 on a second meal at the upmarket eatery, $729 on a rental car and several hundred dollars more on cabs, despite having the rented vehicle at her disposal.

DeNiro values SkyMiles at 4.3 cents apiece in the suit ($300,000), overstating how much they’re worth by a factor of four. There’s no mileage currency worth 4 cents apiece, and SkyMiles is one of the less valuable currencies.

According to the lawsuit, his ex-employee:

    “used 3 million of his frequent flyer miles for personal use” and

  • “transferred another 4.5 million into her own account”

This claim, however, does not make sense. Leave aside the penny apiece Delta will charge to make the transfer. They only allow transfer out of an account of 150,000 miles per year. This would have taken 30 years… and she only began work in 2008. In my experience in many cases as an expert witness (including involving Delta SkyMiles) lawyers involved are often very confused when it comes to miles and points.

The former employee, for their part, claims that this is all trumped up and filed pre-emptively to distract from their own gender discrimination lawsuit against DeNiro seeking $12 million.

[I]n a 2012 voicemail leaked last year De Niro can be heard shouting at Robinson, calling her a ‘spoiled brat,’ saying ‘how dare you f***ing disrespect me,’ and threatening her, saying ‘you’re f***ing history.’

…Robinson ‘was asked to do things that her male colleagues were never asked to do, like scratch Mr. De Niro’s back, button his buttons, tie his ties.’

(HT: Eye Of The Flyer)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @Gary, I suspect she wasn’t transferring the miles into her account. She was probably using his SkyMiles to buy her own tickets. This way, she can avoid 150,000 per year limit.

  2. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that she’d have access to his account, simply booking tickets for herself and others that way. Many EAs I know have access to all sorts of stuff like that.

  3. Obviously, she shouldn’t have stolen.

    However, that voicemail? Wow. I hope she wins her suit for the wrong reasons, because you can’t treat people that way.

  4. DeNiro has an estimated net worth of between $150-500 million and he’s worried about SkyMiles? He’s a known Hollywood asshat. The recording isn’t fake. He isn’t making criminal charges, he’s making civil ones. I have no doubt who’s more in the right here.

  5. @jamesb2147: I’ve no idea what’s so bad about the voice mail. Do you receive money when someone yells at you?
    Can the first 2,146 James’ could give their opinions too?

  6. Yup, DeNiro’s net worth is ~$500 M. This couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy than Mr. “F-bomb Trump”.

  7. Sounds like Robert De Niro should have spent more time running his own world, and less time trying to run ours. He and Alec Baldwin should hang out more.

  8. @Gennady – but that’s what he says happened to 3 million of the miles, the other 4.5 million are described as being handled differently

  9. Does the respondent gets points for spending the allegedly embezzled funds at Nobu, in which De Niro is a major stakeholder?

  10. For all you know, if she was authorized to use his Amex or had a AU card, she may have transferred 4.5M Amex MR to DL. That is easier than trying to transfer miles.

  11. Couldn’t happen to a nicer a##hole. Whatever she got she deserved just having to deal with him on a daily basis. As for “bhcompy says” comment, it is called freedom of speech. Something you liberals don’t know/cares about.

  12. Interesting that a bunch of trolls choose to ignore DeNiro’s long and incredibly accomplished career, instead choosing to attack the guy for espousing a political opinion they don’t like. The fact that they don’t want you to exercise your Constitutional right to free speech just shows how much these trolls hate the Constitution. I think they should move to Russia, where their intolerance for dissent is the norm.

  13. Ignoring the lamentable politics here, it’s entirely plausible that everything DeNiro alleges actually happened but he’s twisting it to seek retribution on a former employee. I know a lot of people who have worked for noteworthy and wealthy (and often difficult) clientele, and there’s not much here that would be shocking as expenses for an EA. In fact, it’s more likely that people who abuse their employees mentally or physically will often lavish them with expensive gifts, allow them to take trips on the miles they never use, etc. Do you think DeNiro is searching for unicorn award inventory for J/F awards for his SkyPesos? I have no idea what happened in this situation, but this pattern of spend does not seem as out of place as it might in other situations.

  14. @Christian – We can separate the art from the artist. He can be one of the great actors of his generation while also being a horrible human being. An amazing number of them are. Look no further then Ellen DeGeneres or a list of Hollywood A-listers longer than your arm. Working for David Letterman was supposedly hell. Trump is notorious about cheating the little guys who work for him. I can understand not indulging the public when you’re out and about, but there’s no reason to treat those who work for you or your peers on set like trash. Politics has nothing to do with it, unless perhaps they’re trying to make up for their bad behavior by virtue signaling.

  15. @C_M – You’re completely right about separating the art from the artist. My issue is that the only problem that many commenters espouse is the guy’s politics. Now I had no idea what DeNiro’s politics were until the brain trust left these comments and frankly I don’t really care about his political stances.

    As to the recording, while I have no doubt that DeNiro said those things, given that the person accused of felonious activity made this secret recording I’m a long way from convinced. As an aside, I once worked with a young woman who spent some weeks working as DeNiro’s production assistant and she had nothing but wonderful things to say about him. I realize that that was a singular episode but it beats a secret recording by a potential criminal.

  16. @bhcompy – it’s been increasingly filled with racists & white nationalists / anti-vaxxers / misinformation spreaders / Big Lie believers for several years now…the full basket of deplorables

  17. If it’s going to happen to someone, there are not many on the list above Robert DiDouchebag that deserves this.

  18. @ All — Who cares how much money the guy has or how much of a jerk the guy is? It is irrelevant to whether or not the accused committed said crimes. Try having an open mind and look at the evidence (none of which has really been presented here).

  19. LOL.. The unhinged leftists showing their true colors when their money (not the one produced by others) is touched.

Comments are closed.