Report: Hillary campaign stealing from poorest donors with repeated overcharges

Report: Hillary campaign stealing from poorest donors with repeated overcharges

So much for caring about average Americans

Clinton camp accused of fraudulent charges
Hillary Clinton - Gage Skidmore via Flickr - marked for reuse
Clinton camp accused of fraudulent charges
Hillary Clinton – Gage Skidmore via Flickr – marked for reuse

So much for caring about average Americans.  On Thursday, the Observer reported that the campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton is stealing money from her poorest donors by repeatedly overcharging them after they made what was supposed to be one-time-only donations through the official campaign website.

According to the Observer:

The overcharges are occurring so often that the fraud department at one of the nation’s biggest banks receives up to 100 phone calls a day from Clinton’s small donors asking for refunds for unauthorized charges to their bankcards made by Clinton’s campaign. One elderly Clinton donor, who has been a victim of this fraud scheme, has filed a complaint with her state’s attorney general and a representative from the office told her that they had forwarded her case to the Federal Election Commission.

“We get up to a hundred calls a day from Hillary’s low-income supporters complaining about multiple unauthorized charges,” a source, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of job security, from the Wells Fargo fraud department told the Observer. The source claims that the Clinton campaign has been pulling this stunt since Spring of this year. The Hillary for America campaign will overcharge small donors by repeatedly charging small amounts such as $20 to the bankcards of donors who made a one-time donation. However, the Clinton campaign strategically doesn’t overcharge these donors $100 or more because the bank would then be obligated to investigate the fraud.

There’s a reason for that.  One fraud investigator told the Observer that fraudulent charges aren’t investigated unless they’re more than $100.00 — and the Clinton campaign knows this.

“The Clinton campaign knows this, that’s why we don’t see any charges over the $100 amount, they’ll stop the charges just below $100. We’ll see her campaign overcharge donors by $20, $40 or $60 but never more than $100,” said the unnamed WElls Fargo fraud specialist.

“The source, who has worked for Wells Fargo for over 10 years, said that the total amount they refund customers on a daily basis who have been overcharged by Clinton’s campaign ‘varies’ but the bank usually issues refunds that total between $700 and $1200 per day,” the Observer added.

One case involves Carol Mahre, an 81-year-old grandmother of seven from Minnesota.  Mahre made just one $25 donation to Clinton, but was shocked to find that multiple $25 charges were made against her card.  Her son, Roger, happens to be an attorney, and he stepped in to help his mother.

“It took me at least 40 to 50 phone calls to the campaign office before I finally got ahold of someone,” he told the Observer. “After I got a campaign worker on the phone, she said they would stop making the charges.”

But, the report added, her card was charged yet again on the very next day and the campaign had not reversed the previous charges.

“I was told they would stop charging my mother’s card but they never stopped,” Roger said.

Fraudulent charges
Hillary for America processed a total of $94 in unauthorized charges to Carol Mahre’s US Bank account. This follows a pattern in which unwitting donors are charged multiple times, but always for a total of less than $100, which is a key trigger point for banks’ internal action systems. Photo: Courtesy Carol Mahre via the Observer

Liz Crokin noted:

The Clinton campaign overcharged Carol $25 three times and then overcharged her one time for $19, a grand total of $94 in fraudulent charges. The campaign’s overcharges to Carol were just a few dollars short of $100. This is in line with what the Wells Fargo bank source revealed to the Observer.

Since the campaign failed to amend the problem for Carol, Roger contacted her bank, US Bank. However, he ran into problems when he asked US Bank to refund his mother’s money. Roger told the Observer that the bank would not reverse the charges and that a bank spokesperson told him that they had no control over companies that make unauthorized charges. At that point, Roger decided to contact his local news and filed a fraud complaint with Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson’s office on behalf of his mother. After local TV news Kare 11 ran a story, someone from US Bank contacted Roger the next day and said that they had reversed and stopped the charges to his mother’s card.

An attorney with the Clinton campaign said she would be removed from the donor list but the campaign did not take responsibility for the fraudulent charges.

“This is a load of crap!” Roger said. “The self-righteousness of politicians drives me insane. If you and I did this, we’d be thrown in jail. This is theft, fraud or wire fraud – it’s a federal crime!”

Unless, of course, the person committing the act happens to be named Clinton.

The Observer noted this at the bottom of the article:

Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.

But that, in no way, excuses the campaign from these fraudulent charges.


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