A Citigroup employee’s wrongful dismissal claim was dismissed this week after the employee was fired from the bank for lying about dining expenses on a work trip.
Szabolcs Fekete, an analyst who worked for Citi in London, was fired after ordering two sandwiches, two coffees, and two orders of pasta during a company trip to Amsterdam in July 2022 and lied by claiming both orders were for him — but the food was actually for himself and his partner.
“I was on the business trip by myself, and I had [two] coffees as they were very small,” Fekete reportedly wrote in an email after his manager questioned his expenses. “I don’t think I have to justify my eating habits to this extent.”
Citi then fired Fekete after he admitted to sharing the meals with his partner as the bank’s expense policy states that all employees must “list attendees whose meals they submit for reimbursement,” also noting that employees are not allowed to expense meals for employees’ partners.
Fekete then sued following his termination, but the case was dismissed by Employment Judge Caroline Illing, who said that Citi “requires a commitment to honesty from its employees” and that the company was justified in its termination of Fekete’s employment.
“I have accepted that the expense report may have been submitted in error,” the judge reportedly said. “However, I am satisfied that a dismissal in relation to the misrepresentation allegation alone would fall within the band of a reasonable response by a reasonable employer.”
A Citibank representative told USA Today that the bank was “pleased with the decision” by the judge.
Citigroup was down just under 6.7% in a one-year period as of Tuesday afternoon.