Lizzie Pugh told CNN that earlier this year she won more than $12,000 on slot machines while attending church at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
Pugh went to Fifth Third Bank in Livonia, Michigan on April 11, 2022, opened a savings account, and deposited the winnings into the newly created account, according to court documents. According to Pugh’s complaint, she was told by three of her employees at Fifth Third Bank’s White Bank that the checks were “fraudulent.”
A 71-year-old Detroit public school retired woman says she was initially forced to confront a bank employee who refused to return her check.
According to the complaint, Pugh asked the bank clerk to call 911 because he was not about to leave without the check. Pugh then spoke with a third bank employee of his, who also said the check was fraudulent and that the bank reimbursement prevented Pugh from opening an account and depositing the check. I was. In the end, the bank employee returned the check to Pugh.
Fifth Third Bank, NA and Fifth Third Financial Corporation filed responses this week denying the allegations, including that employees determined the checks were “fraudulent.” They also dispute that events occurred that warranted damages or other relief, according to court filings.
“We are committed to fair and responsible banking and prohibit discrimination of any kind.From our review of the claims, we believe the facts differ from those claimed.Our employees are trained to assist all customers with their banking needs, and our employees follow procedures to facilitate the opening of new accounts,” a Fifth Third Bank spokesperson told CNN. said in a statement.
Deborah Gordon, Pugh’s attorney, said in a statement to CNN, “What happened to Pugh is another example of the hurdles and insults black Americans face as they try to get through the day. It’s not just young black men being profiled. Fortunately, Michigan has strong laws against discrimination in “public establishments,” including banks. ”
Pugh says he was able to cash in at another bank.
“I got this check and now I don’t want it,” Pugh told CNN.
“I was very upset. I didn’t know the address so I just took a picture of the bank on my way out,” she added.
Yolanda McGee, Pugh’s niece, told CNN: heavy on her heart. McGee initially had to persuade her aunt to sue, she says, because she was afraid her aunt would do something.
In a statement, Fifth Third Bank said it stands by its employees. Because the employee’s actions were consistent with our processes and dual goals of serving our customers while preventing potential fraud that could cost both the bank and our customers. . ”