Sunday, April 01, 2012

Local soldier says he was bilked out of more than $25,000 while stationed in Afghanistan, BofA says no credits will be issued to his account

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - John McDevitt, a U.S. Army Reservist from Clayville held up a sign outside the Bank of Utica branch on Mohawk Street in Utica saying "A soldier that puts America first should have a bank that puts the soldier first."

McDevitt who served in Afghanistan in 2010 for a year, says while he was there he had two weeks of leave called 'R & R'.

He took those two weeks to go to a place he had always dreamed of going, Athens, Greece.

But while in Greece, McDevitt says he lost $25,000, money he says he'd been saving to pay for his daughter's upcoming wedding.

McDevitt says he went to a nightclub in Athens called Palia Plaka in November of 2010, and paid for a couple of drinks using his Bank of America debit card.

Two weeks later, when he got back to his base in Afghanistan, he says he checked his Bank of America account online, and saw six charges had been deducted from his account for a total of $25, 243.71, all from the nightclub Palia Plaka. McDevitt says he wrote to Bank of America and protested, saying that's not my signature. He continued, "they investigated and investigated and here we are a year and a half later and they say they aren't responsible for this at all."

According to a statement released on Saturday by Bank of America Media Relations Coordinator T.J. Crawford to NEWSChannel 2, Crawford says "I can't discuss Mr. McDevitt's account due to customer privacy concerns. However, I can tell you that with any fraud claim, there is a very thorough review process we go through to verify its authenticity."

McDevitt says he only signed a receipt for a couple of drinks, not six charges totaling more than $25,000. He says, "and you know, the sad part is most of that money was for my daughter's wedding, I saved all that money and then now it's gone."

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