Tuesday, November 21, 2017
News Roundup

Wells Fargo says no way to kidney patient trying to cash long-ago checks

RECOMMENDED READING


A strict diet, designed for medical purposes, is just part of the deal. That includes hiding the salt shaker and steering clear of alcohol.

Smoking is out of the question, and frequenting the gym whenever your body is agreeable would also qualify as part of the routine.

When you are waiting on a kidney transplant to prolong your life, you accept certain hassles along the way. Ronald Yaffe expected all of that.

Here's what he did not expect:

A yearlong battle with Wells Fargo concerning $10,000 in cashier's checks from the 1980s that the bank says it is not obligated to pay.

"I'm mad. This has gotten personal, and I'm not going to let it go,'' Yaffe said Monday. "Who would ever think that if you give your money to a bank, they won't give it back to you when you ask for it?''

This story begins more than 30 years ago when Yaffe began turning his spare cash into cashier's checks at Central Fidelity Bank in Richmond, Va., where he was an optometrist. The idea, he said, was to have emergency funds to take with him on long sailing trips.

The checks, totaling $11,800, went unused and Yaffe stashed them in a safe deposit box when he retired to Sarasota a short time later.

With his medical condition worsening and a transplant or dialysis likely, Yaffe, 73, retrieved the checks last year, figuring his prescription costs would soon skyrocket.

He deposited the funds in an account, but Wells Fargo soon notified him that the checks were invalid. The bank, Yaffe said, told him they could not find the necessary paper trail. Central Fidelity was sold to Wachovia in 1998, and Wachovia was acquired by Wells Fargo in 2009.

The Virginia Department of Treasury found a record for one of the checks in unclaimed funds and sent Yaffe $1,800. The agency said the other $10,000 was reclaimed by Central Fidelity in 1987, according to Sarasota's Herald-Tribune, which originally reported the story.

That's when Yaffe took the matter to court, and won a judgment last month for the $10,000 plus interest accrued from the time he tried to deposit the checks.

Wells Fargo has since filed an appeal, saying Florida law has a five-year statute of limitations on cashier's checks.

"We are abiding by the law," said Wells Fargo spokeswoman Kathy Harrison. "The judge in this case elected to ignore the case law that supports it. It's an unfortunate situation, and now that it's in litigation, there is not much more we can do or say."

Today's cashier's checks typically carry disclaimers saying they will be voided if not cashed in a specified period of time, often 90 days or six months. Yaffe said there were no time limits written on his checks in 1982.

Even if the judgment is upheld in appeals, Yaffe says a portion of the $10,000 will go to attorney fees.

And so a sick man might lose a large chunk of money, and a bank risks looking greedy and coldhearted.

At this point Wells Fargo would be justified if it was worried about setting a legal precedent, but a little compassion a year ago could have avoided the whole mess.

Comments
Michael W. Smith talks about Texas shooting, Christmas music and Bono

Michael W. Smith talks about Texas shooting, Christmas music and Bono

On the morning after the mass shooting at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Michael W. Smith had pain in his voice. "It’s awful, it’s just awful," said the Grammy-winning Christian music superstar. "Everybody’s going to have their opinio...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Five ideas for easy Thanksgiving appetizers

Five ideas for easy Thanksgiving appetizers

Thanksgiving can put a heavy burden on the host. We’ve assembled five appetizers that are quick and easy to prep. Some, like our risotto balls and goat-cheese figs, cater to vegetarian diets, so you can be sure to please all your guests. Even i...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Crime Stoppers, Straz Foundation still working out Seminole Heights reward money

Crime Stoppers, Straz Foundation still working out Seminole Heights reward money

TAMPA — You can collect $110,000 in reward money for information leading to an arrest in the Seminole Heights killings, but for now you’ll have to make two stops.The David A. Straz Foundation announced Monday it would contribute $10,000 to a reward f...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jury to decide whether Adam Matos be put to death in Hudson quadruple-murder

Jury to decide whether Adam Matos be put to death in Hudson quadruple-murder

NEW PORT RICHEY — A jury today could decide that the man convicted in the brutal slaying of four — including his former girlfriend — should be put to death.The jury in the Adam Matos trial returns at 9:30 a.m. to hear closing arguments and begin deli...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: Clouds build, setting stage for a soggy Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Clouds build, setting stage for a soggy Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay

Clouds and temperatures are increasing — and so are rain chances – as Thanksgiving could be a soggy one across the Tampa Bay region.[WTSP]Check the latest Tampa Bay-area live radar: The wet outlook is due to a systems that will produce spotty shower...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida man bites police officer during warrant hearing

Florida man bites police officer during warrant hearing

Miami (AP) — Authorities say a man bit a police officer who was taking him into custody during a hearing in a Miami courtroom.Miami-Dade police spokesman Argemis Colome tells news outlets the officer suffered a "severe injury" when Godel Leveille bit...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Joe Henderson: Low-attendance Athletics fund own stadium, how about Rays?

Joe Henderson: Low-attendance Athletics fund own stadium, how about Rays?

I would like to believe what Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said about a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays.It sounded good when he told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, "I’m more focused on working with the community to figure out...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Debunking the Jameis Winston conspiracy theories

Rick and Tom podcast: Debunking the Jameis Winston conspiracy theories

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones debunk the Jameis Winston conspiracy theories as he will miss a third consecutive game this weekend in Atlanta.The guys explain that Winston’s absence is purely medical and has nothing to do with the...
Updated: 4 hours ago
The Daystarter: Jury to decide Matos’ fate; details into Halladay’s plane crash; barriers help secure North Straub Park through holidays; sexual assault reports down at MacDill

The Daystarter: Jury to decide Matos’ fate; details into Halladay’s plane crash; barriers help secure North Straub Park through holidays; sexual assault reports down at MacDill

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• Expect rain today and through the rest of the week, according to 10Weather WTSP. It will likely be a wet Thanksgiving.10News WTSPThe latest 7-day forecast• As you head out fo...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Crash involving bicyclist closes EB lanes on W Kennedy Boulevard in downtown Tampa

TAMPA — Eastbound lanes on W Kennedy Boulevard were reopened by 6:30 a.m. at S Parker Street in downtown Tampa after a bicyclist was struck early Tuesday morning.The crash occurred in front of the University of Tampa, according to broadcast reports.W...
Updated: 5 hours ago