I turn 27, and it is shaping up to be the most horrible birthday of my life. My bank accounts have been frozen, the US Attorney's office has stopped talking to us, and I have had to leave my husband in another state because we were told that Zions Bank has filed charges against him and that they (Salt Lake City) are "aggressively pursuing the charges". I am at the point that I am so raw that I don't know who I can trust anymore or where to get help....we are even doubting as to whether or not we have actually been dealing with the US Attorney's Office and not some Zions Bank employee in disguise.
On Monday we drove back to Denver (this trip being financed by $300 borrowed from my now dead Uncle), we were to have an appointment at 3 or 3:30 to give statements. We were told that we would be able to be reimbursed for our trip this time and for the trip last time...."just make sure that you have your receipts and they will cut you a check before you leave."
So we are there, we call at 2 to make sure we have the right directions. Our contact "CH" says that the interviews are taking longer than expected (there are supposedly 8 to 10 other people there with similar complaints). Suggests that we just check into our hotel room and that they will come and pick us up...that is, if they can get us in today. They would call before 4pm if they would be able to see us. So we wait. Actually I collasped from exhaustion as I had been driving since 5am. No call by 4. So we call him....and the number we had been using to call "CH" has been switched over to a fax number. "CH" calls us from his cell phone...tells us that there might be a problem with Mr.3 coming down into their office because of the problems with the SLC complaint...but that they definitely want me to come in and give a statement. "CH" says that he will be by the hotel by 10am the next day to pick us up and to be prepared to be in meetings all day long.
10am the next morning...Mr.3 and I are dressed and ready to go. "CH" calls and says that he was almost at the hotel but that his office called him and said to come back immediately; he would call us later to see what exactly was going on. Repeated attempts to get ahold of him denied. Noonish, "CH" contacts us back, says that "officially" he can't talk to us, but they still want to arrange for me to come in but they can't decide what they would be obligated to do about Mr.3. "CH" asks us if we have considered getting a lawyer; then says that he will contact us back later about making a statement...but still suggests that Mr.3 "stay on vacation".
Exit to lunch at a mall. I force myself to eat although I am so angry that it is taking all of my strength to not throw tables and snap children's necks around me. Mr.3 trys to take my hand but I won't, I tell him that I will break his fingers if I do. He looks concerned as I start to cry...then suggests that perhaps we go outside. He wants me to drive back to the hotel but I can't....I can't focus....I start to pace back and forth behind the car. He tries to calm me down and then...I....snap. I throw my cup across the parking lot and scream "How do you expect me to feel? I am completely dependent on you...for information---I can't talk to this guy at the US Attorney's office, I can't talk to this guy at TERI....I can't do anything! I can only answer collection calls but I can't tell them anything....ANYTHING!!! All I can do is to take the threats! And now...now I have to listen to you tell me that this US Attorney's office STILL can't see us! We wasted everything to come down here, not once but twice...we have NOTHING.....NOTHING!!! I'm financially ruined and I can do nothing about it! RUINED!!! RUINED!!!!" And then I began to scream, and scream, and scream...there in a parking lot screaming with no purpose, only to expose what the true emotion that I felt.
When I stopped, Mr.3 snorted. And I ran to car and yelled "if you are only going to laugh at me, then I am leaving." He was quick, he almost didn't make it back into the car before I drove off. I didn't think that I would actually make the drive back to the hotel but I did. And I made it back up the stairs to our room and through the door...and to the bed where I sobbed uncontrollably for what felt like hours. The pillowcase was stained black where I cried. I thought that I had brought waterproof mascara...or else they hadn't product tested it to the extreme conditions that I put it under. I know that I slept after a while....and it felt like I had been asleep the whole day...but it was only an hour or so.
Afterwards, Mr.3 was going stir crazy and was going to go down to the lobby. I told him that I would be down after I finished going through the receipts we had...which was a fraction of what we should have...but the number is steadily climbing towards $1000 for expenses throughout both trips..not counting the tow truck cost and the car repair. When I got down to the lobby, Mr.3 was ready to go...he wanted to get a drink. I stalled...this wasn't the right time to be drinking anyway. And I asked him an almost unforgiveable question "am I being lied to?"; a question that hurt him more than he thought possible. We ended up walking a couple of blocks to a burger king...I got a water, Mr.3 an iced tea. The heat and my emotions were making me sway. Then we walked back towards the hotel and had a nice meal at a Mexican resturant and agreed that we would try again tomorrow before we left town.
The next morning we were both trying to get in touch with "CH"--as I now had the phone numbers--to no avail. We drove downtown, found a parking lot, and basically laid in wait to hear some news. Mr.3 received a text message, stating that things we bad and couldn't "officially" talk to us right now, he would give us more information later." We called our new bank, Wells Fargo, to see if Mr.3's direct deposits have come in and then we were told that there was a hold on our account and that we had to call another number to fix it. We were told one thing and found out that what they told us was wrong. So I had to call them, being the Wells Fargo Deposit Operations Service Center, again to try and fix the problem. What has happened is that Zions Bank has sent out a message to all of the other financial institutions stating that we owe them money. This message resulted in our Wells Fargo account being frozen and our ATM cards deactivated. Granted we only have $31.05 in our account, but Mr.3 now alone in Colorado, could have really used an extra $20 so that he could eat. The only way to get the hold removed is if Zions Bank sends in a letter saying that we have paid them back. Of course telling them that I am currently in a dispute with the bank and that there has been a complaint filed against them for wire fraud did nothing. Any direct deposits into the bank will be delayed and if we actually want to get money out of our account we have to go into the bank branch and beg a manager to let us have our money.....so just like with Zions Bank, you can put all the money you want into your account, but that doesn't mean that the bank will ever let you use it.
I drove home by myself yesterday..crying, yelling, and screaming the whole way. Got to my parents, cried myself (rather clichely) to sleep while clutching the pillows Mr.3 would have been using. I operate in a state of cold rationality and overly emotion demoralization.
Now, today, we are trying to figure out what to do next. The number we had to contact "CH" both his cell # and office # are not being answered. I did a search on the office number and found out that it was the fax # of the Audit Office of the Denver Regional Office of the US Attorney...however when I called the number they didn't know who "CH" was and gave me the number to the criminal division across the hall. They hadn't heard of him either. So now we are trying to figure out who exactly we ARE dealing with...before we go anywhere else.
I am writing this to prove to myself at least that I am not crazy. And I am going to start writing this story from the beginning....something has to give, hopefully it won't be me.