7 On Your Side steps in after Long Island business owner's tax check mysteriously stolen

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Thursday, November 2, 2023
Long Island business owner's tax check mysteriously stolen and cashed
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Nina Pineda helps a Long Island business owner when her tax check was stolen.

DEER PARK, Long Island (WABC) -- Mail fraud and checks being stolen out of the mail continues to be a major issue.

A Long Island business owner had the check for her quarterly taxes mysteriously stolen and cashed -- and when she couldn't get reimbursed, she turned to Nina Pineda and 7 On Your Side.

As a certified disadvantaged and minority owned business in a male dominated manufacturing industry, Susan Tsafas is used to roadblocks.

But she said what happened to the check she wrote to pay quarterly taxes for her Deer Park Company, Long Island Coatings, was inexcusable.

"And so just unbelievable that a bank doesn't have some kind of coverage for the money that was illegally taken out of your account," Tsafas said.

For half a year she's been trying to get the money back for the check made out to the U.S. Treasury for $4,917.

Somehow it was stolen after being put in an Oceanside mailbox.

"How could they have cashed that check when it was, you know, fraudulently signed with a fake account number," she said.

The bank where the criminal deposited her check flagged it for fraud, but the money still came out of Tsafas' own business bank account.

"It was deposited and cleared and I was out that money almost $5,000," she said.

Ever since May 1, she's been accruing penalties and fees on the late taxes for her coating company, which manufactures for many clients, including the MTA.

She couldn't get her own money unclogged in the pipeline between the banks, despite affidavits and month of emails -- then she got an alarming letter that they were going to close the claim and her funds wouldn't be delivered.

Tsafas had enough and contacted 7 On Your Side. It took two weeks of back and forth between the banks, but she finally got her money back.

She will now pay her taxes electronically to avoid the risk of it being stolen out of the mail.

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