A South Florida woman is suing Wells Fargo alleging that a teller at a Pompano Beach branch discriminated against her because of the color of her skin. Wells Fargo strongly denies the allegations.
Back in February 2015, Satara Monroe was trying to cash a paycheck at the location on Atlantic Boulevard when the teller accused her of fraud, according to a lawsuit filed on Nov. 5.
"They interrogated me and asked me a ton of questions like I was some kind of criminal, like I was there to rob a bank," Monroe said.
According to the lawsuit, a bank employee called police on Monroe -- who was a marketing agent for a travel company at the time -- after she handed the teller a check from her boss' Wells Fargo business account. Monroe was not a Wells Fargo bank account holder at the time and says teller, who she described as white or lighter-skinned, gave her a hard time.
A caller can be heard in the 911 calls telling the operator that Monroe's check for over $3,000 was verified as fraud.
Monroe said her boss called to verify the check, adding that he even came to the bank in person, but despite that, she said she was still held for more than 30 minutes.
"What triggered the purported fraud? Nothing," said Monroe's attorney, Yechezkel Rodal. "To this day we are still waiting for this answer. What was it? Other than the color of her skin. There is no reason why anyone would have thought this was a fraudulent check."
Monroe's check was cashed that day, but she is now suing Wells Fargo in federal court claiming discrimination and emotional distress.
Wells Fargo responded to the lawsuit with the following statement:
“Wells Fargo opposes discrimination of any kind, and strongly denies Ms. Monroe’s allegations," said Michelle Palomino, spokeswoman for Wells Fargo. "The complaint is simply not accurate in describing the events, and Wells Fargo looks forward to defending this matter in court.”