Fifth Third Bank has denied allegations that its employees discriminated against a black woman who was trying to cash a casino check. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Fifth Third Bank denied allegations that it discriminated against a black woman in Michigan by refusing to cash her casino check. Lizzie Pugh filed a federal lawsuit against the bank after she was unable to cash out a five-digit casino prize at the third bank’s fifth location.
The lawsuit did not specify the exact amount of the check
The 71-year-old won the jackpot playing a slot machine at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant. Visited the property with a church group when it won the grand prize. Pugh decides to pay the taxes owed on the winnings at the casino, and receives the remainder of her prize money in the form of a check, plus a small amount of cash.
The lawsuit did not specify the exact amount of the check, only detailing that it amounted to five figures.
Two days after winning, Pugh decided to deposit her winnings in her bank. I tried creating a savings account to deposit cash, but three white female employees at the third bank’s website deemed the check fraudulent. An employee allegedly tried to keep the check.
Deposit it in Chase Bank the same day without problems
It has since been confirmed that the check is legitimate. It contains the casino’s title and logo, as well as Pugh’s full name and the same home address as her driver’s license. I eventually got the check back and deposited it at Chase Bank the same day without any issues.
Commenting on the ordeal, Pugh said, “For someone to accuse you of theft? I’m 71. Why would I steal a check and try to cash it?” Her niece eventually convinced her to file a lawsuit, calling the events a “violation of her civil rights.”
Pugh asserted that she was originally raised in Alabama at a time when racism was rife. She said she was bullied because she was the only black child in her school.
Fifth third bank responds
As I mentioned before Detroit Free PressFifth Third Bank’s spokesperson has issued a statement denying the allegations of the lawsuit. It affirms that the Bank is an institution committed to providing responsible and fair banking services with the prohibition of discrimination of any kind.
Pugh’s attorney is Deborah Gordon, who handled a similar case in 2020. She sued a bank after it refused to cash her client’s settlement check. The bank eventually issued an apology and privately settled the case.
The statement also confirmed that the bank’s employees are receiving training to help them deal with people’s needs “while minimizing potential fraud risks.” The bank claims that the facts of the case differ from those described in the lawsuit and that its employees on the day of the incident in question followed the necessary procedures.