Banking While Black – Accused of Fraud for Cashing a Check

human hand looking at fraud blocks through magnifying glass on invoice

Racism impacts discrimination at all levels – even when you are trying to cash a check legitimately. It is a major issue encountered by many who are ‘banking while Black.’

If this has happened to you, you need a civil rights violation lawyer in Baltimore, MD. Being falsely accused of check fraud is traumatizing and often based on racial discrimination. Fortunately, the Law Office of Kim Parker P.A., a civil rights lawyer in Maryland, is here to help.

What is Check Fraud?

Check fraud is the attempt to cash or deposit an illegitimate check. While financial institutions and check-cashing businesses need to remain vigilant against actual check fraud, there are also many false accusations when it comes to this practice — and you guessed it, Black people are most often the ones fraudulently accused thanks to racist behavior.

Can you go to jail for depositing a fake check? Yes. There are serious penalties associated with check fraud, and if convicted, it could be a felony conviction as well as costly fines.

The only way to mitigate this, whether you’re falsely accused and/or convicted of check fraud, you need a civil rights violation lawyer in Baltimore, MD.

If the amount of the check in question was under $100, it’s likely a misdemeanor — but that still shows up on your record if sentenced. Plus, you still get a fine and a 90-day jail stay. If it’s a higher-value check, you could end up in prison for up to 15 years.

Accused of Fraud?

In Michigan, a 71-year-old Black woman sued Fifth Third Bank after they refused to process her check. It was a five-figure jackpot check, and the bank accused her of check fraud.

Additionally, they refused to return the check to her after they refused to process the check. The woman, Lizzie Pugh, faced three white bank employees in this instance.

The retiree followed all the right rules: after winning the check at a slot machine at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, while on a church outing, Pugh paid the jackpot taxes from her winnings and left with the check for her prize. When she went to deposit the check in Livonia just two days later, she was falsely accused of check fraud — even though she was trying to deposit it into new savings account that she wanted to open then and there. That’s the cost of banking while Black.

Pugh asked the employees to call the police to intervene, showing she was serious about the check’s validity. They refused. Her niece, Yolanda McGee, advised her to sue to stand up for the rights of people of color throughout the United States. Pugh has already lived through a more difficult era for civil rights, and she decided to take action, noting that the experience reminded her of the trauma of growing up Black in Jim Crow-era Alabama.

Pugh later successfully deposited the check into a nearby Chase branch, which treated her fairly.

Suppose you’ve been accused of check fraud, especially if you were banking while Black; it’s important to contact a civil rights lawyer in Maryland immediately. Check fraud is serious, and situations like Pugh’s are too common.

Note that if it’s clear you’ve been falsely accused of check fraud, your attorney may consider representing you on contingency, meaning you pay nothing for their services until the lawsuit is over.

Banking While Black: Get Help Now!

The Law Office of Kim Parker P.A. is understanding, experienced, and sympathetic to the struggles of the Black community. If you’ve been accused of check fraud based on racism, it’s time to contact a civil rights lawyer in Maryland as soon as possible to avoid jail, fines, disruption in employment, most importantly, to clear your good name. If you were inspired by Lizzie Pugh’s case, you mustn’t let racist bankers walk all over you: stand up for yourself, your community, and what’s right. Call the Law Office of Kim Parker P.A. today for justice.

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If you or someone you care have been treated wrongly or injured, let a knowledgeable, experienced attorney will guide you and fight for your case. Don’t miss out on the justice you deserve. Contact us today at 410-234-2621. Let’s talk about your needs and how we can help.

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