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A Michigan bank called authorities on a black Air Force veteran who tried to deposit settlement checks worth $90,000 from a recent racial discrimination lawsuit because they thought it was fraud.
Now, Sauntore Thomas is suing TFC Bank for alleged racial discrimination and says the Livonia bank humiliated him by calling four police officers when he attempted to deposit legitimate checks.
None - White
‘They discriminated against me because I'm black. None of this would have happened if I were white.'
TCF Bank spokesman Tom Wennerberg said the company ‘abhors’ racism and that it had nothing to do with how the bank handled Thomas’ requests.
Incident - Tuesday - Thomas - Settlement - Employer
The incident happened on Tuesday after Thomas had reached a confidential settlement with his former employer, Enterprise Leasing Company, for a racial discrimination lawsuit on January 13.
That lawsuit, which was originally filed in May 2019, alleged that managers refused to discourage racially charged and harassing comments to employees.
TFC - Thomas - Manager - Erika - Mack
While at TFC, Thomas met with assistant manager Erika Mack to open a savings account, deposit three checks worth $59,000, 27,000 and 13,000, and immediately withdraw the $13,000.
Thomas was soon informed by an employee that his checks displayed a watermark that read VOID when scanned by the bank’s systems and the assistant manager Erika Mack, who is black, said that the system was malfunctioning.
Checks - Thomas - Money
The checks would need to be 'verified,' 'called in' and Thomas needed to explain how he got the money.
Wennerberg added that the assistant manager was also concerned because Thomas only had 52 cents in his bank account at the time and was requesting a new debit card because his old one no longer worked.
Minutes - Authorities - Bank - Thomas - Offices
Ten minutes later, four authorities arrived to the bank. Thomas was detained by two offices for hours inside the bank lobby while the other officers stood guard outside.
Thomas contacted attorney Deborah Gordon, who...
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