Complaint / review text:
[The most recent version of this document is available on-line at http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/FraudDetails. Doc]
To whom it may concern:
During the holiday period of November 30,2007 through the present, my family and I have been the victims of two frauds in rapid succession, one perpetrated by a consortium of international con artists in cooperation with and under the protection of Capital One Bank in the amount of $13,000.49, and a second fraud conducted by Capital One Bank alone in the amount of $6,500.00 (the second occurred without resistance from Chase Bank, which could have, and should have, mitigated the loss). This amounts to a loss of nearly $20,000.00 immediately before Christmas without any notice and without any fault of mine. As you will see, in the end the entire loss was caused by Capital One Bank, since without their actions the crimes of their partners would have had no effect whatsoever.
My name is Scott Deaver. I am one of three officers in a C corporation by the name of Paper Trail Technologies, Inc. (as accountants, lawyers, and especially bankers know, a C corporation is a separate legal entity created by a state filing, and shareholders are typically not personally responsible for the debts and the liabilities of the business).
At the time Paper Trail Technologies was incorporated in July, 2006, I turned over the title of my restored 1977 MG Midget to the corporation in return for 1,000 shares of stock at $1 per share, and a note against the corporation for $10,000.00 (the corporation is the debtor, I am the creditor).
In December, 2006, the corporation released its employees and began a process of dissolution.in August, 2007, the corporation completed its last remaining contract (with Emerson Process Management) and started liquidating assets. As part of that effort, the 1977 MG Midget was placed for sale on several Internet websites (see http://www.ScreenSender.com/Midget) through ITMotors.com.
During the evening of November 8, I received a text message on my cell phone in response to that ad. The message was from a Frank Lampard, who said he was a classic car broker and had an interested client who was an officer in the US military stationed in Spain. I responded the next day to the e-mail address he provided (all e-mails exchanged on either side of the conversation are available at http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/FraudEmail1.htm through http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/FraudEmail34.htm), answered a few questions, and pointed him to the website that had the most detail about the car, including a video test drive (the aforementioned http://www.ScreenSender.com/Midget). On November 10, he indicated he wanted to purchase the car, and we discussed payment arrangements. Between that time and November 30, I received e-mails from him regarding delays of various kinds, but no check, and so I assumed he was one of those whose stomachs were bigger than their wallets.
To my surprise, I received a cashiers check, drawn on the State Employees Credit Union of Maryland, from Spain (see the envelope at http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/OrigCheckEnvelopeRcvd11_30_07.jpg) on November 30, and promptly deposited the cashiers check that day. When I saw the check had been cleared a few days later (December 3), I went to the bank and had a cashiers check drawn up from Paper Trail Technologies, Inc. To me in repayment of the note owed me (http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/CapitalOneCashiersCheck.jpg). I then deposited that cashiers check to my Chase Bank personal account. On the day following that deposit, the agency I contracted my services to (Sapphire Technologies) was released from a project, leaving three of us out of work just before Christmas. So, I paid several bills, including my homeowners insurance, life insurance premium, house payments on both mortgages, the taxes on the house for the year, and child support for my daughter (even though I am the primary custodian and ordinarily it wouldnt be required, I pay what might better be termed adult support to my ex-wife because shes indigent and not a citizen). I was looking forward to a modest, but nice, Christmas, the first I would have with my eighteen-month-old daughter since gaining primary custody of her in a long legal battle.
On Wednesday, December 12, my daughter, her caregiver (who is also my fiance), and I went to the neighborhood strip mall to so I could get a haircut for a job interview I had landed for the following day. When I went to pay the $12 tab, not a single credit card or debit card of the four I carry (a Capital One Visa, a Capital One debit, ad Chase MasterCard, and a Chase debit) would go throughthey all reported cancelled. My fiance took the baby and went home for her purse to pay the bill, and then we went to the Chase branch across the parking lot to use their ATM, thinking maybe the salons card reader was broken.
The Chase staff would tell me only that my account was suspended they wouldnt tell me why - and that I had to call Capital One in order to get it released. The entire concept that a bank could not only interfere with unrelated accounts at another bank, but could effectively take everything that customer had in those unrelated accounts without notice or explanation, was foreign to me. I immediately went to Capital One bank, where I learned that the $13,000.49 cashiers check deposited November 30 was a counterfeit. I learned that Capital One had not contacted any law enforcement authorities, had not contacted me, had posted no information to the online account to notify me, and had been aware of a problem with the check since being notified by State Employees Credit Union of Maryland the previous Friday (December 7). Brad Herndon, the Capital One manager stated that Capital One was conducting an internal investigation (without contacting the principal witness me?). When I asked under what authority or by what mechanisms my Chase accounts had been suspended, Mr. Herndon would not tell me, saying only that Capital One has the right to protect their assets (no mention of protecting their customer, obeying the law, due process, prohibitions against self-help, due diligence when clearing the check in the first place, or full disclosure). Mr. Herndon refused to tell me the rationale or means used to suspend my Chase accounts, or provide me the means to access those funds that had been received in my Chase account from sources such as my automatically-deposited paychecks, or for that matter, why I was being forced to talk to Capital One about any Chase matter. As in past conversations about other matters (see below), the Brad Herndon was uncooperative, dishonest, evasive, and arrogant (and as things turned out, a con artist in his own right).
By that time it was evening. I had no cash, no access to any, no food in the house for my daughter and no gas in my vehicle. There was $6500.00 in my Chase accounts, and I was completely unprepared to immediately and without notice have no access to my funds. My fiance (whose only source of income is the salary I pay her to care for Sophia, my daughter) loaned me the last $40 she had before she returned home to her apartment (see http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/JennifersNote12_12_07.jpg). For my daughters safety and welfare and because of the uncertainty of my financial situation, I decided to use the money to put gas into my vehicle, and take my daughter to her birth mother in Richmond (a very difficult decision, I assure you).
On the following morning, December 13, I spent the entire morning at Chase Bank trying to get answers, and access to those funds that were deposited from my paychecks. All I got for my trouble was a runaround, and my demands to speak to someone who could solve the problem resulted in only a phone number (no name) and that number was not a Chase number, but a Capital One number (see http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/ChaseNoteReCapitalOne12_13_07.jpg).
After 24 hours trying to resolve the problem, I had more questions that I started with: Why was no one at Chase willing to take responsibility? What was the relationship between Chase and Capital One? Why was a fraudulent cashiers check in the amount of $13,000.49 now known to be written by a professional crime ring (that is, not me) resulting in a removal of $19,500.49 from my control (a debit against my account at Capital One $13,000.49 for the original check, and a hold against my assets at Chase for reasons unknown)? Why, with a crime of this magnitude (an international crime syndicate, interstate wire fraud under the purview of the FBI, and postal fraud under the authority of the US Postal Service) had no one involved the authorities? In other words, why was Capital One covertly attacking me (the victim) while obstructing justice to protect the criminals?
After returning from Chase, I called the Sugar Land Police to file a complaint and find out how to get the appropriate authorities involved to overcome the honor-among-thieves head start Capital One had given the scam artists (I did not yet know about Capital Ones own fraud in this case, but I did know about Capital Ones long ad sordid history as a parasitic and predatory history as a credit card company, and also knew from my own experiences see below and from Congressional testimony about their loan-shark-style fee-churning practices).
The officer who took the complaint had similar questions. He assigned a case number (see http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/OfficerAndCaseNumber. Doc) and asked me to get the Capital One manager to provide copies of the counterfeit check. He stated that with Capital One running interference for them, the criminals had probably long ago covered their tracks and it was unlikely that they would be caught. I called the Capital One manager, and he offered to bring the information to my home, but not until the next day (December 14).
On December 14 two weeks to the day after it was deposited, and one full week after Capital One had been notified there were problems Brad Herndon, Capital One bank manager, allowed the first view of the cashiers check to anyone other than Capital One personnel since it was known to be counterfeit. See the photocopy of the check as delivered by Mr. Herndon (with Capital One staff notes) at http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/FraudCheckCopyWithCapitalOneMgrNotes.jpg and http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/FraudCheckCopyWithCapitalOneMgrNotes2.jpg. Mr. Herndon also brought with him various images of bank software views of transactions for the Paper Trail Technologies, Inc. Account see http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/CapitalOneMgrScreen1.jpg through http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/CapitalOneMgrScreen4.jpg. I asked Mr. Herndon by what authority he had used a counterfeit check issued by a third party to the Paper Trail Technologies, Inc. Account to interfere with my access to personal funds in my Chase checking account and he had the nerve to tell me I had to take that up with Chase (two days before, he had admitted culpability under the umbrella phrase Capital One has the right to protect their assets)! I asked him why he had given criminals a free pass by not calling in the appropriate authorities, and again he ducked responsibility by blaming Capital Ones internal security when I asked for names and phone numbers of those individuals, he refused.
After Mr. Herndon left my home, I downloaded the on-line view of my account status in my Chase personal account see http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/AccountDetails1. Aspx.htm through http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/AccountDetails7. Aspx.htm. Note that the account still shows the balance of $6,500.00, and absolutely no indication anywhere of a hold, cancellation, or suspension. I also downloaded the on-line view of the Paper Trail Technologies, Inc. Capital One account. See http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/CapitalOneScreen12_14_07.jpg. By this time, Capital One has revised some history and added a debit of $13,000.42 back-dated to December 10 along with a service charge of $4.00 (that some massaging has been done is belied by the fact that on the same day another charge for $218.00 was accepted with a later transaction number than the debit).
I cannot get a straight answer from Chase or from Capital One as to the hijacking of my personal Chase account. It appears as though by good-ole-boy Ill-scratch-your-back-if-you-scratch-mine collusion they want to hide from the authorities from me, Capital One and Chase have struck a deal to transfer funds including those unrelated to the sale of the 77 Midget - from my personal checking account at Chase to cover the debit in the Paper Trail Technologies, Inc. Capital One business account caused by Capital Ones failure to vet a counterfeit cashiers check with due diligence. That would mean that through no fault of my own, without any public hearing of the facts, and without being provided any notice or opportunity to mitigate the damages caused by criminals Capital One has acted to protect (see below for alternative resolutions), I am being charged $6,500.00 personally in addition to the $13,000.42 debit assessed against Paper Trail Technologies, Inc. That totals $19,500.42, $16,000.00 more than the $3,500 I personally received from the transaction (the $10,000 cashiers check deposited into my personal account less the $6,500.00 I never spent).
Everyone Ive spoken to about this matter the police, IRS, Texas Attorney Generals Office, and yes, a manager for another bank has said there is no legal way for Capital One to attach personal funds in another account to a business debit, certainly not without judicial intervention. So, how did they do it? I called several people looking for an honest banker (i. E., someone working for a bank not held by a usurious credit card company) and was introduced to a manager of an IBC Bank office. She looked into the situation and determined that Capital One had committed a fraud of its own they did not report the $13,000.42 cashiers check issued to Paper Trail Technologies by the scam artists as being counterfeit to Chase, they instead reported the perfectly legitimate $10,000.00 cashiers check from Capital One to me personally as being fraudulent!
For their part, Chase agreed to look the other way and accept Capital Ones misrepresentation of the facts so long as Capital One didnt get caught. This is a blatant, deliberate, and criminal corruption of the banking laws and practices by two malfeasant banks, and an immoral and illegal assault upon an innocent consumer.
At the time the $10,000.00 cashiers check was issued by Capital One bank to me with bank manager approval, Capital One was in full command of all the resources and all the facts. They had every opportunity, duty, and right to validate the original $13,000.42 cashiers check. They receive daily updates from the FDIC specifically about counterfeit cashiers checks, and have for more than five years (see the example notice at http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/FDIC FIL-68-2002 Special Alert.htm note that these alerts are not made available to the general public and I was made aware of them by the IBC bank manager).
For nearly all of the time that the Paper Trail Technologies, Inc. Account has been at Capital One, Capital One has placed holds on every check (including payroll checks from Fortune 500 corporations) coming into the account (sometimes purely for harassment). Brad Herndon, the Capital One manager, and I have had more than half a dozen strong conversations about inappropriate holds on specific checks, to no avail every week my mailbox would contain yet another hold notice for an Emerson Process Management (a Fortune 500 company) check in the same amount ($2,153.20) for over a (from July, 2006 when the account was first opened to August, 2007 when the officers began shutting down Paper Trail Technologies, Inc. During the period August, 2007 through November, 2007, there was very little activity in the Paper Trail Technologies account in fact, for some period of time prior to the deposit of the $13,000.42 cashiers check, there had been a small overdraft in the account.
And, it wasnt until after Capital One, of their own volition and for their own reasons, showed the original $13,000.42 cashiers check cleared in the on-line account view that I requested the $10,000.00 cashiers check from Capital One to myself. It wouldnt have mattered one whit to me whether the $13,000.42 cleared in four days or in four weeks. As shown by the activity in my personal Chase account, over two weeks after having receiving the original $13,000.42 cashiers check, I hadnt spent $6,500.00 of the $10,000.00 I got as my portion of the sale of the car.
It was against this backdrop that Capital One bank issued the $10,000.00 cashiers check to me from the Paper Trail Technologies, Inc. Account. There was nothing fraudulent about it in any direction because Capital One had not done any due diligence despite copious information available to them, no one could have been aware at that point in time of any problems. But in any case, once they issued the cashiers check, they were accountable for it as a separate matter form any other consideration for exactly the same reason you cant get out of paying the check you issued for the mortgage just because your losses in Las Vegas turned out to be more an you thought they would be.
I asked Brad Herndon, the Capital One manager, what he was doing during the four days they did hold the original $13,000.42 cashiers check, and why with e-mail and instant electronic communications - and, for Gods sake, free long-distance and getting daily notices that counterfeit cashiers checks were out there in roughly the same dollar amounts, he didnt invest the trouble to verify the check, he made one of the most laughable comments Ive ever heard. He told me that they cleared the check quickly as a service to a valued customer! This despicable shell of a man, working for a despicable shell of a bank (neither of which had ever done anything for anyone that didnt immediately and directly put money in their pockets) was trying to put after-the-fact spin on the fact he and his bank are incompetent, lazy, and careless as though not discovering a counterfeit check was somehow a good thing for me.
Lets clear up that last point. The damage Capital One (in collusion with Chase) has done to me personally may exceed ten times the $6,500.00 theyve stolen from my personal Chase account to apply to a Paper Trail Technology debit I dont personally owe. To verify that those funds have been unfairly converted and that it is the $10,000 cashiers check from Capital One illegally characterized as fraudulent rather than the $13,000.42 counterfeit cashiers check (verifying the IBC bank managers findings), see the Chase letter received December 24 at http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/ChaseRcvd12_24_07.jpg. To verify that Capital One is showing a $13,000.42 debit against the Paper Trail Technology, Inc. Credit with no mention of a credit for the funds they have stolen from my personal Chase account, see the Capital One letter received December 31 at http://www.ScreenSender.com/Fraud/CapitalOneRcvd12_31_07.jpg. As to the latter, note that Capital One has turned the situation completely around from Paper Trail Technologies, Inc. Being the innocent victim of a crime (that Capital One could have, and should have, prevented) to Paper Trail Technologies now having intentionally over-drafted an account. That kind of intentionally malicious and libelous defamation, slander, and dishonesty from an organization as incompetent and corrupt as Capital One has shown themselves to be throughout this entire situation is unacceptable (to say the least) and one of the issues for which we are seeking the assistance of legal counsel.
To start with, I have a personal direct loss due to Capital Ones corruption and ineptitude in the amount of $6,500.00 (the $6,500.00 taken from my personal chase account, over and above the Paper Trail Technologies, Inc. Debit of $13,000.42 that fully covers the original counterfeit check.
But no event occurs in a vacuum. There was a reason that Paper Trail Technologies, Inc. Was being dissolved and that the 77 Midget was being sold in the first place the business had not been successful, and my personal situation was such that I needed the money. Before selling the car, I had spent thousands of dollars on immigration issues, bringing a woman from China and her daughter to the US. Shortly after her arrival, the woman became pregnant and I married her. At that point, she determined she could live off the proceeds of a divorce and welfare generated by the baby, and after assaulting me with a bottle, left my home. After a year and a half of investigative, legal, and recovery expenses totally multiple tens of thousands of dollars, I was successful in retrieving my daughter and was awarded primary custody. At the same time, I was being harassed with nuisance suits by a spurned lover from several years earlier, also Chinese and working in concert with my now ex-wife (they were of the belief they could acquire my house). Ultimately, my retirement and other savings were exhausted and I was forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy in order to save my home and to start fresh for the sake of my daughter. That bankruptcy was still in the discharge process at the time the original cashiers check was received for the 77 Midget.
[A side note regarding the bankruptcy: As illuminated by recent testimony before Congress, lower-tier banks like Capital One (and for that matter, Chase) churn fees by various means against marginal accounts, generally by holding deposits but immediately logging debits to create artificial overdrafts during the hold period, and charging exorbitant fees on a per-debit basis for the resultant shortages. At the time the bankruptcy was filed, I had a personal account at Capital One, which Capital One began churning as soon as they received the bankruptcy notice they ran up hundreds of dollars in churned fees in a short period of time. The charges so angered the bankruptcy referee that he allowed us to belatedly add the personal Capital One account to the list of creditors, and discharged all of those fees. Brad Herndons name and character came up frequently during those discussions and I believe a significant motivation for some of the illegal activities Capital One has engaged in relative to the counterfeit cashiers check is reprisal for the bankruptcy referees actions.]
As noted previously, shortly after depositing the $10,000 Capital One cashiers check into my personal Chase account in repayment of my loan to Paper Trail Technologies, the project I was assigned to as a software engineer was cancelled myself and two other engineers were put out of work because of a breakdown in the relationship between the client (Smith International) and the agency we worked for (Sapphire Technologies), in large part due to long-term misconduct by the project lead (Mark Seals).
Because I contract my services to clients based on specific tasks to be done, changing jobs is not in and of itself unusual I typically work an assignment for six months to two years (I had been on this assignment since August). However, in the eighteen years Ive been doing this kind of work, Ive never been involuntarily unemployed, and therefore not during the holiday season, and of course not when I had the primary responsibility for an eighteen-month old daughter. While ultimately I will get work, I wasnt able to secure a position in the two-week run-up to Christmas or during the week between Christmas and New Years.
I had intelligently and responsibly prepared for some of the know issues (certainly discharge of the bankruptcy and taking over care of my daughter) by arranging for the sale of the car and retirement of the $10,000.00 debt owed me by Paper Trail Technologies. The sale of the car was welcome news, even more so when shortly after the project at work was cancelled.
So, at the time my debit and charge cards were denied on December 12,2007 all of my resources were completely exhausted save for the funds generated by the sale of the car there was absolutely nothing left to cover any more untoward events.
During the period when Capital One knew the original cashiers check was counterfeit and was negotiating a backroom scam of their own with Chase, but I had not been notified by anyone, I wrote checks for bills, including checks for two mortgages against my home, homeowners insurance, child support, homeowners taxes, and a reinstatement of the payment agreement on my only vehicle, a 2003 Toyota Tacoma pickup, and various other bills.
Because of Capital Ones malfeasance, in addition to the $6,500.00 stolen from my personal accounts, I have suffered (or will soon suffer) the following additional losses:
1. Because during the suspension of my personal account, Chase bounced not only the checks for the two mortgages (which in and of itself would not necessarily have been fatal), but also the homeowners insurance check, I have been told that I am going to receive a foreclosure notice. I have no funds to pay any of those checks, and therefore stand to lose the equity in my home, which is currently between $40,000 and $50,000.00. I have no funds (or now, vehicle) to move or means to prepare the house for sale, and even a premature sale would cost me the realtors commission ($18,000) and whatever I would lose not having the home dressed up properly for sale;
2. On December 16, the bankruptcy discharged. Because the check I wrote to re-establish the payment agreement on my Toyota Tacoma post-bankruptcy bounced, the pickup truck was immediately repossessed, and I now have no vehicle to drive (the 77 MG Midget will not pass inspection because of a failed brake proportioning valve is no longer available for the car, and even if it were, I have no funds to pay for it);
3. I have for three years been paying on a $500,000 life insurance policy that policy is now at risk of cancellation. A December 17 payment due through Paper Trail Technologies as part of my compensation as an officer of the corporation was bounced, as was the replacement payment made through my Chase personal account (as noted below, this policy may have had enough loan value to pay for the counterfeit check had I been duly notified in a timely manner now I cant get access to the policy to pay any of my other bills);
4. Three checks (one I issued during this period, two others that my ex-wife had squirreled away to cash for Christmas) for child support bounce, placing me in severe legal jeopardy and causing major issues to my personal credit and to my relationships with the court, my ex-wife, my family, and ultimately with my daughter;
5. Yesterday my cell phone was cut off for a bounced payment I have no means to repay the check;
6. On December 29, a note was placed on my door that the water bill payment check had bounced, and water would be cut off tomorrow I was able to borrow $70.00 from a friend, but I have no more sources for loans. I am expecting similar notices for the electricity, gas, and land-line phone (and with that goes my Internet connection, without which I cannot work and my ability to get and respond to interviews by phone or e-mail);
7. I cannot pay the Cobra payments to continue my insurance from work, which is a requirement of my child custody agreement.
As you can see, my situation is desperate. I am 53 years old (which in and of itself has employment and health challenges) and everything I worked for in 39 years of fulltime employment (I left home at 14), including my home and family, I am about to lose because of the criminal activities (including aiding and abetting fellow criminals) of Capital One Bank.
The truly terrible thing is that none of this was necessary. First, Capital One could have done their job and either validated or held the original check until the fraud was discovered. But even had Capital One Bank not met their obligations, but kept their mistakes to that one and been even minimally honest and forthright, the situation was easily manageable. If Capital One had responsibly kept the loss to the Paper Trail Technology account and reported the issue to the authorities and the officers of the corporation as required by any standard of decent behavior, there is the possibility the criminals could have been caught (or at least, future crimes curtailed). Furthermore, at the end of the day, Paper Trail still has the car (the criminals never picked up the car, no title was exchanged, and no money was ever sent to them) so all that had to happen was for Capital One to issue a loan to Paper Trail Technologies for the amount of funds that were advanced on the counterfeit cashiers check. Then, Paper Trail Technologies would have made payments on that loan until the car was sold to a legitimate buyer and the loan retired. Such a solution would have been painless, simple, honorable, and businesslike.
But now were faced with the situation that Brad Herndon and Capital One Bank have intentionally and unlawfully caused me personal harm outside any obligation I might have had to Paper Trail Technologies, and certainly outside due process and legal authority.
I am, therefore, seeking any legal and financial help I can from any quarter it is available. It is said that mankind never solves bigotry and racism, it just gets moved around. Therefore, because I am slender, Caucasian, and male (as opposed to obese, black, and female) society provides no resources from which I can draw to help me through what should have been short-term problems at best.instead, there is a good likelihood I will end up homeless, certainly without credit, and without future prospects.
It seems my best hope is to find a really good attorney who can hold the wolves at bay (at least long enough to keep my phone line active to get work) while getting back my personal resources from Chase and in a perfect world, suing Capital One out of existence (I recognize the illogic of the last item where would slugs like Brad Herndon work?). Hopefully, I can find someone willing to work on contingency.
In the meantime, I will send out copies of this letter to as many people as I can, beginning with law enforcement, banking regulators, state legislators, our Senators and Congressmen, the credit reporting agencies, the child-support enforcement people, and the child custody judge.
If you are an attorney (or know of one) interested in this case and believe you can help, please contact me at 281-240-8343, by e-mail at [email protected], or by postal mail at the address in the upper right-hand corner of this letter.
Sugar Land, Texas