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Criminal Negligence in the Office of the Los Angeles District Attorney

by J.A. Citizen Editorials Tuesday, Feb. 03, 2004 at 1:25 PM

You would think the goal of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office would be to seek the truth, and in doing so, actually check their facts before threatening someone with legal action, but apparently, this is not so in Steve Cooley’s Bad Check Division according to Los Angeles artist, David Goldner.


--J.A. Citizen Public Editorials

You would think the goal of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office would be to seek the truth, and in doing so, actually check their facts before threatening someone with legal action, but apparently, this is not so in Steve Cooley’s Bad Check Division according to Los Angeles artist, David Goldner.

“I have never dealt with a bigger bunch of complacent morons in my life! Money is their bottom line, not the truth or justice!” Says Mr. Goldner. “Their negligents, out right indifference and habitual failure to verify facts is a total hypocrisy, and has got to be criminal in itself.” Goldner passionately insists, referring to the people he’s dealt with at the DA’s office as “Human Form Letters”.

Mr. Goldner explains his story in his own words… “I am a struggling artist and do many things under the label artist such as, “photographer, painter, designer, writer, director...

In late March of last year, 2003 I was the victim of fraud. Let me repeat that once again for the LADA. ‘I WAS THE VICTIM OF FRAUD!’ The first week of April I filled out a police report at the West LA police station because I had received a fraudulent eCheck the week before, for 1500.00, a deposit from a person hiring me to design a web site. I had never received an eCheck before, but I do accept credit card transactions on my web site, and the eCheck was sent through a legitimate on-line eCheck service, so I assumed all was on the up and up. And again, this was a deposit for the job so I had not yet done the work. (Talk about stupid criminals!) A few days after I deposited the check, I was contacted by my bank, Wells Fargo, and was informed the 1500.00 check was fraudulent. Not NSF, but actually fraudulent. The name on the check not matching the bank account. Since I had drawn funds against the deposited check, this left me overdrawn when it was discovered. I immediately came to the bank with funds to cover any overdraft. But, as a result of this check, Wells Fargo, rather than being helpful in any way, shape or form, decided to just summarily close my bank account. Making me feel like I had done something wrong, and basically making me a victim for a second time. (a story of injustice in itself!) I’m now with another bank.

My account being summarily closed was one of the main motivations for filing the police report in the first place. Between Wells Fargo and the person that gave me the check, I was really ‘pissed off’ to say the least! Although I had covered all the outstanding funds immediately, I knew I had a few checks that had not cleared yet and I asked Wells Fargo to please honor any checks I had already written and told them I would cover them immediately, but unfortunately, they still returned one check to Best Buys for 27.05.

I called Best Buys immediately when I found out that one check had been returned. I do business there all the time. I spoke with a young lady who was the manager or assistant manager, explained the situation, and left all my contact info. I even offered to come in and give them cash immediately, but the check had not even been returned yet, so they had no way to apply it. I never heard back from them until getting a notice from Certegy Payment Recovery in Florida. A collection company for Best Buys. I contacted Best Buys again to see if I could deal with them directly, but because of their corporate structure, got nowhere. So I just went ahead and sent Certegy a personal check for 52.05, which included the penalty for the check being returned.

Several weeks later I got a letter from the LADA’s Bad Check Restitution Program. At first I thought they had made some progress on my check fraud case, but was shocked to find a letter saying that I had to pay them a fine and go through their bad check writing program because of the check that was returned to Best Buys. And that Best Buy had not been paid.

I immediately called Certegy, Best Buys collection company to confirm the payment I had sent them many weeks earlier and I was informed that they did not except personal checks, which is what I had sent them, and wanted either a cashiers check or money order. Since I already sent them a personal check, I checked my bank records and saw they indeed never cashed the check I had sent, so I immediately sent them a money order for the full amount, and informed the LADA’s office of the fraud that was the cause of my Wells Fargo account closing, and that Certegy had been sent a check for 52.05, and even sent them all the evidence they needed to verify my story! I gave them the police report number I was given by the West LAPD. I gave them the contact info for the manager and my bank officer at Wells Fargo who knew what happened and could easily verify the true facts. I gave them a copy of the money order stub made out to Certegy (Best Buys collection agency) for 52.05 and a USPS tracking number to it’s Florida recipient, and a letter from Certegy stating the account is paid in full! But the LADA form letters to pay their fine just keep coming!

Now common sense should prevail here since the one and only reason the check to Best Buys was returned was because I was the victim of fraud, and my bank account was summarily closed by Wells Fargo, something that was totally out of my hands… but like I stated, the LADA’s office apparently has no common sense, nor do they have a sense of justice! It has been a total frustration trying to deal with them! The people that work in the bad check division are all ‘robotic human form letters’ that can only be etched with a number 2 pencil! Their system sucks, to put it bluntly!

This whole situation has made me wonder how many other innocent people the LADA demands fines from without checking their facts!? This is just total negligents by the LADA! I was a victim of a crime, and now I’m a victim of the LADA’s policies of blatant indifference. To date, they have been totally complacent or just plain lazy when it comes to looking at any fact I’ve supplied them with! And deft, dumb and blind human form letters perpetuating a system of injustice is unacceptable! The LADA’s Bad Check Division could care less about the facts, their bottom line is to collect money! And demanding money from the innocent with the threat of legal retaliation is just city sponsored extortion in my opinion! And I have no doubt that there are many others that are now or have been victims of the LADA’s complacency and just plain negligents.

The one and only reason my check to Best Buys was returned is because my account was summarily closed by Wells Fargo after I received a fraudulent check. A fact the LADA’s office is too damn complacent to even verify! How in good conscience can the LADA justify ignoring the facts, or even declare them irrelevant? It’s absurd!

I have aggressively responded in protest to everyone of their calls and letters, trying with frustration to explain the facts of the case, and that I was a victim of fraud. But they seem to care less about the facts, and to date have not verified one fact I gave them! All they want is for me to just pay their fine and go through their check writing course, something I told them I refuse to do under the circumstances. In fact, I have demanded they set up a court date so I can put this in front of someone with some common sense! I also assume that if they have to actually go to court, they will be force to look up the true facts of this case, something they have failed to do to date.

They have continued to send me threatening form letters and I can only assume that most people would just pay the fine and say “the hell with it” after being constantly harassed. But the complacency or just plain laziness of the LADA’s bad check division has gotten my dander up! Their out right refusal to even look at the facts of my case (their human form letter syndrome) again, makes me wonder how many other innocent people just pay the fine after being continually harassed and threatened by the LADA’s office with legal action? In my case, I have asked to be put in front of a judge just to prove a point! But in my opinion, truth is the bottom line of justice, is it not? And the LADA’s bad check office is absolutely negligent in it‘s duty to seek the truth! And that’s the only true crime here!

Not everyone fits into a form letter! I know I don’t, and hope I never will!” Goldner concludes.

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