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WaMu Gave Grandma's Money to Crooks

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New York Times Reporting on ICT

The article appeared on May 21, 2007.

click here for more info

Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Check Processor Really Put Out of Business?
The state investigator I've been corresponding with every now and then wrote me today to note that the story I was fed by CCR (see last post) may really be true. She included the following link:

Petro Slams Columbus Firm For Helping Telemarketing Fraud

My question to her: why would they stop the company that was processing the refunds?

Well, in fact, as the Ohio AG's Office press release indicates, this was the company that was taking in the money. I'm sure they were taking in a lot more money than they were giving back -- if they were giving back any at all.

The release notes:

The company often made paper-check withdrawals of hundreds of dollars at a time without consumers authorizing or even knowing about them, an illegal practice known as “slamming,” Petro said. He added that ICT withdrawals that may have been authorized by consumers were nevertheless illegal if they were based on deceptive telemarketing sales pitches by its client firms.

This would explain why my grandma's checks were being cashed in Cleveland. (Ohio is quite the hotbed of corruption.)

Good news -- but then again, I'm sure the crooks behind this are already up and running under a different name. If not, someone's sure to have jumped in their place.

Ultimately, I'm curious to see what kind of sentence, if any, these guys get (if convicted.)

I'm adding them to the watch file:

Thomas Cimicato
Integrated Check Technologies (ITP) of Columbus
Check Free Recovery, Inc. of Columbus
Collect-A-Check of Columbus
Ohio Attorney General, Jim Petro

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Friday, June 02, 2006
update on ITP refund
Called CCR back today for the first time in weeks just to check in on the status of my grandma's refund. I was informed that the company that processes the refund for ITP (the company that ripped off my grandma) is no longer in business. ITP is still in business. CCR is still in business. But the processing -- whose name she didn't even know -- was out of business, so the refund can't be processed.

She told me I should have my grandma's bank file an affidavit. When I asked her with whom the bank should file the affidavit, her attitude, which wasn't great to start, soured even further. When I pressed her to explain how this would help, she finally hung up.

If you need to contact CCR, their number is 866-898-7489.

I contacted Wamu to inquire about filing an affidavit, but Andrew Samuel was once more unavailable to take my call. I left him a voicemail asking him to call me back today.

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