Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Bank Fraud

June 8, 2012 Wells Fargo Bank 400 Capitol Mall Sacramento, CA 95811 Via Certified Mail Attn: Legal Department Acct. # Ending in 8699 Dear Administator: Since when did Wells Fargo start paying out thousands of dollars on a check that had not cleared a bank, then leave their customer -$2,229.56 in the hole? On Friday, June 1, 2012, I presented a check in the amount of $2,350.65 to a bank teller at the downtown San Diego location. It was the first time I received a check (#4584040-copy attached) from MediConsult USA, Inc., drawn on Regions Bank, with banking facilities in Florida. The only question I asked the teller was, “Could you tell me when the check will clear?” Her response, “Should be tomorrow” was not the usual “A hold will take place until the funds clear.” To my surprise, the next day I was able to withdraw $2,300 in cash, thus securing in my mind that the $2,350.65 check deposited the day before had cleared. Imagine my shock when on Thursday, June 7, I looked online to find my account standing a couple thousand dollars in the negative. This was not the only switcheroo I have encountered with Wells Fargo. When I first opened a checking account in the spring of 2011 as an SSI recipient, it was immediately established that my electronic checks could be accessed on the 1st day of the month. Starting in December, 2011, I learned that my check access changed to the 2nd day of the month. Over the next two months with calls and visits to Wells Fargo, the Social Security Administration was blamed for this unforeseen change. At the SSA, a clerk finally looked me in the eye and emphasized that the arbitrary decision to change the date of when I received my funds was not made by them. Then in February, 2012, the funds were restored to the 1st day of the month. At age 60, I was not interested in looking for another bank. Now, I have no choice, however, I cannot afford a credit history that shows me $2,229.56 in the hole to a bank that has proven itself not to have a history of business consistency or compliance. Please honor your obligations and restore your credibility by restoring my bank account to its proper balance. Sincerely, Marilyn J. Hartman cc: Senator Dianne Feinstein _____________________________ June 11, 2012 Senator Dianne Feinstein 750 B Street Suite 1030 San Diego, CA 92101 Re: Wells Fargo – Banking Irregularities Dear Senator Feinstein: Attached is a copy of a certified letter sent to the Legal Department of Wells Fargo Bank. At first, it appears to be just a matter of the Bank not being consistent in its policies. However, what finally prompted this letter was a culmination of questionable procedures practiced by Wells Fargo. In the past six months, issues have had to do with: (1) arbitrarily changing the dates that the Bank dispensed with funds from my SSI check; (2) reversing an account with the Social Security Administration to an old account number, resulting in my not receiving funds on the due date; and (3) my going to the SSA, only to be told that both the account number change and the dates of payment were implemented by the Bank. This has caused a great deal of tension and frustration. Currently, I am taking Continuing Education classes to get off of SSI, do volunteer work with seniors, and surveys for extra income. That’s how I got stuck with a $2,350.65 check that bounced as a result of “insufficient funds.” My argument with the Bank is that previously, it would never cash a check until I had enough funds in my own account to match the face value of the check. Then I presented a check in the thousands, and the Bank paid out $2,300, even though I had nowhere near that amount in my account. Now, I’m in debt to the Bank for this check and fees despite the Bank’s lack of compliance on other issues. Is it possible for your staff to look into the matter? Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Marilyn J. Hartman Encl. _____________________________ July 4, 2012 Ms. Alexis Richie Customer Service Wells Fargo P.O. Box 6995 Portland, OR 97228-6995 Dear Wells Fargo Correspondence Representative: Thank you for providing me with a copy of “Important Legal Information, Disclosures and Terms You Need to Know.” Please note that nowhere throughout this 79-page booklet does it state how much Wells Fargo should be charged, both financially and criminally, with: (1) contacting a federal agency and purposefully reversing an account where direct deposits were received to an account that had already been closed; (2) arbitrarily, and without advance notice, changing the dates that funds are dispersed when received from the Social Security Administration; and (3) producing fraudulent monthly bank statements that show savings account transfers that never occurred. On December 6, 2011, a Wells Fargo employee allegedly contacted the Social Security Administration and convinced their staff to change an active checking account (#989438699) to a closed account (#6607290456). On December 30th, a Wells Fargo employee asserted that the reason I did not receive my check that Friday (January 1st was a Sunday) was because the SSA changed the dates that the funds would be dispensed. My 12/29/11-1/30/12 statement does not reflect that you delayed my deposit for three days, thus earning Bank interest, until finally releasing the funds on January 2, 2012. In February, Wells Fargo started producing bank statements showing a transfer of $25 from a checking to a savings account , but the deduction was never made, thus resulting in the bank producing fraudulent bank statements from January through June 2012. A Wells Fargo letter, dated June 13, 2012, declared that the Bank has “begun the process of closing your account(s)…money transactions on the account(s) are blocked.” On Monday, June 18, a Bank Manager gave his assurances that the checking account was closed. Therefore, my concern that Wells Fargo would keep my SSI check would not occur because no transactions can take place once an account has been closed. Nevertheless, on Friday, June 29th, Wells Fargo kept my check in the amount of $854.40, thus leaving me unable to pay my rent and in a state of homelessness. The question remains: Who or what influenced Wells Fargo Bank to commit criminal acts over the last seven months when prior to December 2011, your Bank provided adequate customer service in accordance with federal law? Sincerely, Marilyn J. Hartman cc: Senator Dianne Feinstein

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Getting Kicked Out

It was the issue of survival that prompted a letter to the Social Security office in Seattle, with copies to two of the State of Washington's Senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, dated October 24, 2011. Dear (Administrator): On or about November 16, 2010, an employee of the Social Security Administrationallowed an individual to fraudulently redirect my next monthly e-deposit of $674 from my account to another bank. This criminal act was committed less than a week after my purse was stolen. On December 1, I was in the hospital when I learned that no funds were available. A social worker helped me in calling SSA, only to learn that whoever accessed my account also wiped out any record of the bank that was receiving electronic deposits over the past several months. This necessitated a 3-way call among the bank, SSA and myself to acknowledge that the bank had previously been receiving my deposits and it reinstated me. However, 10 ½ months have passed and I never had my December 2010 check reinstated through my present bank, Wells Fargo. During this time, the initial assurance that a new check would be reissued devolved into blaming me for not filing a police report regarding my stolen purse. How could I? The theft literally occurred two minutes before boarding a flight in another city. The last time an SSA employee remonstrated me for not filing a report, I noted that the police did not assist in the theft of my SSA check; therefore, the report was made to its source, the Social Security Administration. Last week, I went to the local SSA office and once again was told that the matter is “under investigation” by the Treasury Department. This is the same Treasury Department that as early as January, 2011 knew the LA bank and account number of the individual who convinced a govern-ment employee to switch the future e-deposits. Is there still any chance of fulfilling my upcoming 60th birthday wish and restoring my present Wells Fargo bank account in the amount of $674. Thank you for your time and consideration to this matter. _______________________ A month after I sent this letter, I encountered such retribution that I left Seattle and moved to San Diego. Once I settled into a Single Room Occupancy hotel, I wrote to Senators Cantwell and Murray again. Dear Senators Cantwell and Murray: On October 24, 2011, I hand-delivered copies of a letter to each of your offices that was addressed to the Social Security Administration. Its contents described a missing SSI check deposit and related matters. I want to thank both of your offices for the effort in having a new check reissued on November 4. Now, for the retribution that followed. Ten days after I received the check, my purse and a flash drive was taken at the same downtown library where I typed the first letter. On December 6, I learned that someone changed my bank account at SSA to one that had been cancelled. That was not the only switcheroo. The date for receiving funds was changed from the 1st to the 2nd of the month without prior notification. A minor change, true, but not when you consider that I promised a landlord to have money to rent a monthly room at a lower rate if I could give him the funds on the day I expected a deposit. I lost out on the room and have had to pay a higher rate when the funds became available on January 2, 2012. Last week, my check reverted back to being deposited on the 1st of the month -- like millions of other SSI recipients. If what I have written so far sounds like there must be more than targeting someone for theft and retaliatory action, there is. More than two decades ago, I worked for a senior law partner who used to fix cases with the help of the Cook County prosecutor’s office. This occurred, despite the fact that one of the partner’s clients was a retired high-ranking agent with the Chicago FBI field office. After I filed charges against the firm, my case was fixed as well. For the next 20 years, I had been squeezed out of employment and housing (I left Seattle following the library incident). When major depression led to my originally filing for benefits in 2003, I thought the abuses would stop. They didn’t. Instead, under the rubric that I suffer from a mental illness, the exploitation intensified. The significance of writing to both of you was to establish that what I experienced when the Social Security Administration “put the squeeze” on me by not reimbursing me until I contacted your offices was very real. At some point in your careers, either one of you may be appointed to an oversight committee reviewing abuses at any federal agency. If so, please consider these “behind-the-scenes” moments that are rarely told due to fear of further retaliation. _______________________

Getting Kill mcked Out

By the end of this week, I will be kicked out of an 80 sq. ft. room I rented for $585 a month. However, the cockroaches and bedbugs will be able to stay behind to greet their next San Diego resident. For many reasons, I wanted to be able to get out as much of my story as possible before my departure date. Like most people, I am curious about how other individuals handle situations that appear at first unfathomable, then increasingly work their way around a solution. Even curiouser are those circumstances that don't appear to have a solution. Twenty-three years ago, I proceeded with a decision that led to long-term consequences and many short-term housing arrangements. I have slipped through tight security spots in orer to fly to another city without a plane ticket, and inexplicably let go after authorities discussed the matter among themselves. Along the way, however, many notes and flashdrives that described my experiences "got lost." The cumulative effect of my travels esonated when Scott Adams poignantly captured such a life in one frame of his Dilbert cartoon, published on January 1,2012: As soon as you make friends or find romance, we'll move you to someplace new and worse." The "we" in my instance has to do with ticking off some high-level public officials. There is also the matter of ticking off some potential readers as I am a recipient of social supplemental income. The general view is that such beneficiaries are lazy and don't want to work once they are approved. However, I wanted to deal with the subject from the standpoint of a whistleblower who had no choice but to go on SSI to survive.