Teen Racks Up $54,000 Bar Tab on Dad's Credit Card: Who Should Pay the Bill?

OMG 10

champagne bottleIt's not unheard of for a teenager to surreptitiously take mom or dad's credit card out for a spin, but this 16-year-old in Japan didn't take his parents' Amex to buy a cool shirt or purchase some movie tickets ... he took it to rack up an impressive, if not totally baffling, nightclub bill in the capital city of Kyoto. The teen's $54K bar tab included bottles of wine that were around $3,700 a pop.

So -- who has to pay up?

A Japanese court ruled last week that American Express and the nightclubs are responsible for the teen's bill, which was tallied back in 2010.

(I'd guess it's because an establishment assumes the risk when they don't ask for I.D. with each credit card purchase, or because the card was technically stolen by the son, but I'm not sure.)

Regardless, it's still a little surprising that this teen was able to get away with such a brazen disregard for rules and money. First of all, HOW he was able to spend that much in one night is stupefying (and if you're thinking it's because he paid for sex, there was no evidence of that), and second of all, the fact that he got off scot-free in the eyes of the law is equally mesmerizing.

Either this kid is part of the Hangover franchise, or he's the luckiest little bastard in the whole world.

The family was only forced to pay about $7,800 of the $54,000 and if this were my kid, he'd have to contribute every cent of that $7K, and then some. Since the court can't/hasn't punished him, it's on his parents to teach him a lesson and attempt to instill in their teen the value of a dollar.

Otherwise, this kid will have made it rain all over Japan before his 21st. Poppin' bottles like a G6, indeed.

Who do you think should have to cover the bill?


Photo via ganesha isis/Flickr



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nonmember avatar Bacardia

The nightclub should be responsible. They should have asked for ID. Especially when the person is charging that amount.

corri... corrinacs

I think the bigger question.....WHO THE HELL ALLOWS THIER 16 YO TO TAKE THIER CREDIT CARD OUT FOR A SPIN!!!!!!!!!  I know people that have done that and EVERYTIME they end up in stupid situations like this!

My son is NOT getting a card until he gets his own when he's 18.  End of story.

LeeshaE LeeshaE

The nightclub should be responsible because legal drinking age in Japan is 20 and like Bacardia said with the amount charged they should have asked for id with the card...double fail on their part.

nonmember avatar MammaMel

Please do your research. American laws are not the end all, be all law of the world. The legal drinking age in Japan is 20.

Vegeta Vegeta

A Kyoto nightclub.. yeah I believe it.

nonmember avatar NoWay

I think it should be split between the nightclub and the teen. The night club should question someone spending that much and ask for ID. Also, you would think American Express would question a charge that big. My card was shut off when I made a larger than usual charge. I had to call them to get it reactivated... and that kid needs to be severely punished.

nonmember avatar NoWay

Corrinacs ... I don't think the "let" him take it. (I didn't read the original article so I could be wrong...)

Jespren Jespren

I think it depends upon whether the parents reported the card as stolen. If they didn't, then they *allowed* their son to make purchases on their behalf and they should be held accountable. If they reported his charges as fraudelent activity then I think the parents are off the hook for the charges, but the kid and the nightclub should be on the hook for fraudelent use of the card, whether that be theft or identity fraud or some other crime, juvenile or adult. And yes, I would call and report my card stolen if my kid stole the card and wraked up such a bill.

Green... GreenEyesMom

Yeah his parents didn't let him take it for a spin, the kid swipped it. I have to admit I did that a few times when I was in highschool and I paid big time. My experience was not a 57K total though. That's a big time wow.

nonmember avatar Jobo

This is crazy. Everyone is to blame. End.

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