By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV I-Team

SUDBURY (CBS) – A Sudbury couple is out thousands of dollars after a former employee allegedly cashed dozens of forged checks and their bank refused to reimburse them.

“Something was wrong with the account where it just kept getting drained. I had no money,” Joe Caloiero told the I-Team.

Caloiero and his wife Melissa estimate they are out $11,535 after their former employee 24-year Andrew Hall allegedly stole one of their check books off the kitchen counter. Hall and 23-year-old Samantha Menard are accused of cashing more than 40 forged checks in a ten week period.

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The checks were cashed at two Citizens Banks in Rhode Island. It took more than 60 days for the Caloieros to figure out what was going on. And by that time, it was too late. The family turned to the bank for help, pointing out the signatures were clearly forged and the account was often over drawn.

But the bank refused to reimburse them for the forged checks because they were not notified within 30 days.(Continued…)

“Notification within the time period of 30 days allows us to proactively stop fraudulent activity that may be occurring and to expedite our investigation of the suspected fraud,” Citizen’s Bank told the I-Team.

Under state and federal laws, the bank does not have to pay back the money because the customer failed to notify them about the fraud within that 30 days.

But Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has made a career out of taking on big banks, says the bank bears some responsibility.

“The notion that they are supposed to be the experts here on banking policy just somehow seems a little disconnected for me,” Senator Warren said. “The banks bear some responsibility for the checks they cash for the quality of what they cash.“

Sen. Warren pointed out that the law requires to use what is known as “ordinary care” when it comes to cashing checks.

The I-Team asked citizens bank what “ordinary care” means to them in this case. They would not answer the question.

As for the alleged thieves, they are still on the run.


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