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  1. #1

    Default Falsly Accused of Money Laundering

    My husband and I have a Sears Mastercard Credit Card. We also own a quick service restaurant. The Sears credit card has a point system where you can accrue points to cash in for rewards. They offer double points on all grocery purchases. So since we own a restaurant we had been using the card for business purposes, ie. food purchases, since we would get such a high return on it. And since we were making business purchases on the card we were using the businesses money to pay off the balance. We continuely used cash to make in-store payments to the account.

    Well, we had been doing this for quite some time. We were just days away from racking up enough points to turn them in for a $2000 Sears Gift Card. Come to find out, Sears canceled our credit card for suspected money laundering since we were always making the payments with cash. No warning. No notice. We have begged and pleaded and tried to explain the situation to them, but it's no use. They have canceled the card and all our accrued points have been taken away.

    What can we do?! This is not fair! They can't advertise this reward system and then not follow through, can they?! They can't just close our account without giving us any warning, can they?!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Inland Empire
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    1,410

    Default Re: Falsly Accused of Money Laundering

    Quote Quoting LegalCrusader
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    My husband and I have a Sears Mastercard Credit Card. We also own a quick service restaurant. The Sears credit card has a point system where you can accrue points to cash in for rewards. They offer double points on all grocery purchases. So since we own a restaurant we had been using the card for business purposes, ie. food purchases, since we would get such a high return on it. And since we were making business purchases on the card we were using the businesses money to pay off the balance. We continuely used cash to make in-store payments to the account.

    Well, we had been doing this for quite some time. We were just days away from racking up enough points to turn them in for a $2000 Sears Gift Card. Come to find out, Sears canceled our credit card for suspected money laundering since we were always making the payments with cash. No warning. No notice. We have begged and pleaded and tried to explain the situation to them, but it's no use. They have canceled the card and all our accrued points have been taken away.

    What can we do?! This is not fair! They can't advertise this reward system and then not follow through, can they?! They can't just close our account without giving us any warning, can they?!
    This is legal and certainly would have raised huge flags for any financial institution. Read your credit card agreement ~ they are certainly withing their rights to do exactly what they did.

    Why on earth you didn't use a business check is beyond me. Sounds like you were hiding money from Uncle Sam to me

  3. #3

    Default Re: Falsly Accused of Money Laundering

    Quote Quoting Antigone
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    This is legal and certainly would have raised huge flags for any financial institution. Read your credit card agreement ~ they are certainly withing their rights to do exactly what they did.

    Why on earth you didn't use a business check is beyond me. Sounds like you were hiding money from Uncle Sam to me
    I assure you, we are not trying to do anything illegal. We pay with cash because it posts to the account instantly, a check takes several days. We are a small business struggling to get by and so we were just trying to take advantage of the rewards that were offered with this card. We read over the agreement and there is nothing about a limit on cash payments. I understand how it may look to the credit card company. But they are not willing to hear us out, even when we can provide proof that we own a business and that the purchases on the card obviously relate to the business we own.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Falsly Accused of Money Laundering

    so, where did the cash come from? Was it accounted for in your restaurant?

    an EFT from your bank posts very quickly and provides you with a record of payment for both Sears and the government who is wanting you to pay your taxes.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Falsly Accused of Money Laundering

    Quote Quoting jk
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    so, where did the cash come from? Was it accounted for in your restaurant?

    an EFT from your bank posts very quickly and provides you with a record of payment for both Sears and the government who is wanting you to pay your taxes.
    The cash comes from our cash register. It gets accounted for in our end of day and end of week reports that we run off of the cash register. Those are given to our tax accountant. WE PAY ALL OF OUR TAXES! We are not trying to cheat the system in any way!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Inland Empire
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    1,410

    Default Re: Falsly Accused of Money Laundering

    Quote Quoting LegalCrusader
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    The cash comes from our cash register. It gets accounted for in our end of day and end of week reports that we run off of the cash register. Those are given to our tax accountant. WE PAY ALL OF OUR TAXES! We are not trying to cheat the system in any way!
    Whether you pay with cash or check, the payment posts to the account the SAME day.

    You must think we're idiots ~ we're not. They can close your account because they can. They don't need any other reason. The fact that you smell like a money launderer or tax evader just gave them the opportunity.

    tigi - out

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3,666

    Default Re: Falsly Accused of Money Laundering

    Let this be a lesson to everyone, credit card company's are a business, and businesses just don't give money away.

    because if they did then I would be the at the front of the line

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Falsly Accused of Money Laundering

    I believe you are overlooking the actual violation of your credit card agreement.

    If they think you used your credit card at your own business, that would be a violation. If you used a personal card at your own business, that would be a violation of the card and your merchant agreement. That is considered money laundering.

    Some cards let you take cash out against the card. That is usually limited to a percentage of the card limit or balance available. It is also charged at a higher rate than a merchant is paying when you pay the card. If you are both the card user and the merchant, that would violated both agreements.

    Similarly, if a merchant had multiple businesses and used only one merchant account for all of them, that would be factoring which is a violation of the merchant account and a felony credit card crime. If you have a merchant account closed due to that, you will never get a new merchant account.

    You have no chance in hades of getting that card back or the points you believe you "earned." You have absolutely no legal recourse.

    End of story.

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