Employees at center of attempt to defraud company

WESTLAKE, Ohio (AP) - Some "hare-raising" claims have recently been made about the batteries that power the Energizer Bunny.

Tom Meyer, The Investigator, reported the claims suggest that the batteries are leaking and damaging expensive electronics.

"They have a policy that they will replace or reimburse items that are damaged by batteries that leak," Westlake Police Capt. Guy Turner said.

The company made out reimbursement checks to many people who had claimed that leaking Eveready batteries destroyed items like Palm Pilots, GPS systems, CD players, boom boxes and camcorders.

In all, the company wrote almost 100 questionable checks totaling nearly $60,000. But there's a catch.

"Many of the cases had insufficient documentation and they passed through the hands of employee Robert Goff," Turner said.

Police say that Goff was at the center of an inside job. They say that a number of employees organized to defraud Eveready by making bogus claims about their batteries.

"It's just a more sophisticated version of an old scheme where someone purports he's in a restaurant and a waiter spilled wine on his coat and it cost him $100 to get it dry cleaned," Turner said. "The restaurant will reimburse him."

Insiders are accused of using false identities to cash in on the company's reimbursement policy. Court records show bogus claims were made over a three-year period before police put a stop to it.