Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Banks Gives Woman Fake Money And Screws Her Over; Town Gives Worker Jail Time For Working Too Early

According to the Albany, New York Times Union, a
Citizens Bank branch gave her $200 in counterfeit
money when she made a withdrawal. The bank told
Warrell it's her problem, and she has to absorb the loss.  
I know it doesn't happen to us all the time, but still, why do people who have just a tiny bit of power feel compelled to abuse it, and then make excuses for it.

Today, I have two examples. They consist of organizations that I suppose were following the rules ad the laws, but in reality applied those rules to avoid responsibility, and stick it to the little guy or gal.

Because the could.


According to Chris Churchill in the Albany (N.Y) Times Union, Michele Warrell, a retired first grade teacher, went to a local Citizens Bank branch, withdrew $300 in three, crisp $100 bills to give to her grandson, as she does every year.

Everything seemed fine until Warrell's daugher tried to deposit the cash in the kid's savings account at a local credit union.

It turns out the bills were counterfeit. Fake. Citizens Bank apparently didn't check the bills carefully enough, and gave Warrell the bogus bills.

The decent thing to do would be for Citizens Bank to reimburse Warrell, who had been a customer of theirs for something like 50 years.

Nope, says Citizens, it was Warrell's tough luck. She's out $300.

As Churchill points out, most of the time, Citizen Bank's policy of not reimbursing customers who say they receive fake currency from them makes sense. Any Tom, Dick or Harry could claim the bank gave them the fake money when they made it themselves.

However, as Churchill again notes, Citizens Bank could have checked with the credit union, and the Secret Service, which had gotten involved in Warrell's case. They could have shown that Warrell doesn't have a counterfeit money machine in her sewing room.

As Churchill writes:

"Warren did nothing wrong, obviously, and it's hard to imagine how she could have guarded against the situation. When a bank hands you a $100 bill, you assume it's a genuine currency.

'I want people to know that they can give you counterfeit money, ad you have no recourse,' Warrell said. 

What we have here, then, is a scenario in which a company lost sight of good customer service practices and upset a longtime customer."

Warrell, understandably, is taking all her accounts away from Citizens Bank and putting them in another financial institution.

Let's hope Citizens Bank doesn't give her more fake currency, though.


Down in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs, a trash collector named Kevin McGill was hard at work at 5:30 a.m. one day, when he got court citation. He was violating a local ordinance that barred trash collection before 7 a.m.  
Trash collector Kevin McGill figured he'd be fined
by the tonw of Sandy Springs, Georgia for working
too early, violating a noise ordinance. Instead
they're throwing him in jail for 30 days.  

He figured he'd go to court to pay a fine. Next thing he knew, a Sandy Springs judge, prodded by city prosecutor Bill Riley, was being sentenced to 30 days in jail, to be served on weekends, writes Spencer Woodman in Vice. 

I guess the fine citizens of Sandy Springs are so special that when they are annoyed for a few minutes by some guy collecting their trash, the move is as much of an affront as an armed robbery or something

Says Vice:

"Sandy Springs spokesperson Sharon Kraun says the early morning garbage truck noise is not something the city will tolerate.

'Our residents, they like their quality of life,' Kraun told me. 'And that means not waking up at 5 a.m. to hear the trash man.'"

It seems a lot of people are angry with the town for doing this to a guy who was just trying to do his job, albeit a little too early in the morning. Maybe McGill is guilty of being a bit rude, but jail time?

Especially since McGill's attorney and others say he was railroaded.

Vice again:

"McGill's attorney Kimberly Bandoh says that when McGill arrived at the Sandy Springs court to plea two weeks ago, he had not prepared at all for the prospect of facing jail time. Before he could properly assess what was happening, she says, the judge handed down the month-long jail sentence. 

'He didn't realize until he finished everything that you're actually going to have to go to jail for going to work early,' Brandoh told me. 'You don't sentence a guy in jail for 30 days for picking up trash. It's egregious.'"

Yes, considering people who do real harm, like drive drunk, commit simple assault or any number of misdemeanors don't spend a minute in jail.

I can't help but think this is yet another matter of race and class. McGill is black. Most of the "powers that be" in town are white. Trash collectors like McGill aren't exactly rich. Sandy Springs is an affluent suburb.

I"m sorry, but I can't help thinking that some richer people just think you throw away a "minion" you don't like, kind of like throwing away a leaf blower when it starts to sputter.

As Woodman notes in the article, the topic of aggressive policing and prosecutions have gotten a lot of notice lately after the federal Department of Justice described how racially troubled Ferguson, Missouri targeted black residents and handed them harsh penalties for minor or manufactured violations. 

Riley, the prosecutor, denies all this:

"'We look for the minimum punishment what will deter the crime,' Riley said, when asked whether the Department of Justice's report on Ferguson would make him second-guess his own office's treatment of cases like McGill's. 'We tried forever not to put anyone in jail for these cases, but it wasn't working.'"

You didn't try hard enough, Riley. An early morning trash pickup isn't a Crime Against Humanity, like you seem to think it is.

And what about the trash hauler McGill works for? The article says he is employed by Waste Management Inc., which had $14 billion in revenue last year.

Riley says Waste Management told McGill he had to start working after 7 a.m. to comply with the Silver Springs ordinance. Maybe, maybe not.

On top of all this, McGill will spend six months on probation, during which he has to make payments to the suburb to "cover the costs", quote, unquote. Yep, let's take what little money he has and make the rich judge in Sandy Springs richer.

If McGill has to pay fines, I'm starting to wish he'd pay it in the fake money the older woman in New York got from the bank.

No comments:

Post a Comment