Black Man Sues Racist Bank Cash Racial Discrimination Settlement Check
Sauntore Thomas sued his former employer, Enterprise Leasing Company of Detroit, for racial discrimination and according to The Detroit Free Press was offered a confidential settlement.
When Sauntore Thomas went to cash that settlement, TCF bank refused to deposit or cash the check, accused him of fraud, called the police and had him humiliated. Police claim that the bank’s computer system showed the check as illegitimate.
A TCF spokesperson, Tom Wennerberg, swears up-and-down that his company “abhors” racism and Mr. Thomas’ Blackness had nothing to do with it.
Right. Sauntore Thomas ain’t hearin’ it.
“I didn’t deserve treatment like that when I knew that the check was not fraudulent,” Thomas told the Free Press. “I’m a United States veteran. I have an honorable discharge from the Air Force. They discriminated against me because I’m black. None of this would have happened if I were white.”
Today, TCF issued an apology:
“We apologize for the experience Mr. Thomas had at our banker center. Local police should not have been involved. We strongly condemn racism and discrimination of any kind. We take extra precautions involving large deposits and requests for cash and in this case, we were unable to validate the checks presented by Mr. Thomas and regret we could not meet his needs.”
Despite the fact that Thomas’s settlement was confidential, TCF admitted to DFP that he presented them three checks one for $59,000 one for $27,000 and one for $13,000. During the fraud investigation at the bank, Thomas called his lawyer, Deborah Gordon, who sent over paperwork to verify the settlement but the bank wasn’t hearing it.
“Obviously, assumptions were made the minute he walked in based on his race. It’s unbelievable that this guy got done with a race discrimination case and he’s not allowed to deposit the checks based on his case? It’s absolutely outrageous,” said Gordon, stressing all of this could have been avoided.
Thomas immediately closed his TCF account that day and deposited the checks into a new Chase bank account. They cleared within 12 hours…
“I feel very intimidated because I knew that if I would have gotten loud, they would have had me on the ground for disturbance of the peace. But I didn’t get loud. I didn’t get confrontational. I did nothing,” Thomas said. “I had a very long journey and I feel like I have to go through the same thing again. It’s frustrating, but I do know God is in control. I will be vindicated because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Dirty. F***ing. Game.