Reporting Lauren Leamanczyk
WESTBOROUGH (CBS) – A Westborough man says he is not sure how he will pay his mortgage or take care of his family after he claims a bank gave him counterfeit $100 bills.
Carlos Rivas says he took his paycheck to Sovereign Bank in Westborough this Saturday and cashed it. He walked away with $1,800 in cash.
Rivas says about 45 minutes later he took that money to Citizens Bank where he has an account and tried to deposit it.
He has repeated the same routine every other week for more than a decade.
But Saturday, when he got to Citizens, they told him 14 of the $100 bills he gave them were counterfeit. Rivas insists he got those bills from Sovereign.
A Citizens Bank spokeswoman says, “we are required by law to confiscate and report to the United States Secret Service any suspected counterfeit notes that are presented to us. The Secret Service determines if the notes are counterfeit or if they are legitimate and can be returned.”
Sovereign Bank says they, “began an internal review immediately and are assisting authorities in their investigation.”
But while the banks and the authorities investigate, Carlos is out nearly his entire paycheck.
“That’s a lot of money, it’s $1,400 and I have to pay bills,” he said from his home with his wife and children surrounding him.
His son, who studies accounting in college, told WBZ-TV his dad has been given “the run around.”
It shakes all of their faith in the banks, he says. “It’s an establishment that you trust and to have counterfeit money in your hands when you leave the bank, it’s just, it’s frightening.”
The Secret Service investigates all counterfeit money claims. Rivas has also tried to report the incident to Westborough Police.
Now he fears he will be viewed with suspicion and he says all he wants is his money back.