Featured Stories | News

Bank calls police on man cashing a $3000 check

On The Money NerdWallet High Interest Loans
(AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

An Arizona man is looking for answers after bank personnel called the police on him while he attempted to cash a $3,000 check.

The incident occurred at the Pinal County Federal Credit Union in Apache Junction in October of 2021.

Almond Brewer says he received a check for $3,200 after selling his boat on Facebook Marketplace.

He then went to the branch to cash that check.

While he was there,  a manager reportedly doubted the authenticity of the check and contacted the police.

According to the bank, the check contained multiple “red flags” like an old log of the credit union, as well as a routing and checking account number that didn’t match the member’s information.

After running the check through a third-party verifier, the check’s authenticity was deemed “inconclusive” but the bank manager failed to tell police that.

Authorities also reported that they did not learn that the credit-union also contacted the account holder who also verified that she did sign the check until 10 minutes after making contact with Brewer.

Brewer told reporters that he believes the actions may have been racially motivated:

“It was just, ‘oh, you know, Black guy locks in his hair, tattoos, came on a Harley, you know?'” Brewer told 12 News. “Let’s assume the worst.”

“Why embarrass somebody like that? Why, you know, make them feel less than a man,” Brewer continued.

President and CEO of the Pinal County Federal Credit Union, Amy Marshall issued a statement on the situation in January.

“At no time did the staff feel threatened or feel Mr. Brewer was trying to rob the credit union.”  She  also noted that the police were already on their way to the bank when the manager received a verbal check verification from its customer.

Marshall also wrote that it is their “ultimate responsibility” to protect the accounts of their customers. She then offered Brewer an apology:

“Mr. Brewer, on behalf of Pinal County Federal Credit Union,” she concluded, “I would like to formally apologize for this confusing experience while visiting one of our branch locations.”