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Exclusive: Hillary Clinton Campaign Systematically Overcharging Poorest
DonorsWells Fargo fraud department inundated with calls from low-income
Clinton supporters reporting repeated unauthorized charges
By Liz Crokin <http://observer.com/author/liz-crokin/> • 09/15/16 2:35pm
[image: Hillary for America processed $94 in unauthorized charges to Carol
Mahre's US Bank account.]

Hillary for America processed a total of $94 in unauthorized charges to
Carol Mahre’s US Bank account. This follows a pattern in which unwitting
donors are charged multiple times, but always for a total of less than
$100, which is a key trigger point for banks’ internal action systems. Photo:
Courtesy Carol Mahre

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is stealing from her poorest supporters by
purposefully and repeatedly overcharging them after they make what’s
supposed to be a one-time small donation through her official campaign
website, multiple sources tell the Observer.

The overcharges are occurring so often that the fraud department at one of
the nation’s biggest banks receives up to 100 phone calls a day from
Clinton’s small donors asking for refunds for unauthorized charges to their
bankcards made by Clinton’s campaign. One elderly Clinton donor, who has
been a victim of this fraud scheme, has filed a complaint with her state’s
attorney general and a representative from the office told her that they
had forwarded her case to the Federal Election Commission.

“We get up to a hundred calls a day from Hillary’s low-income supporters
complaining about multiple unauthorized charges,” a source, who asked to
remain anonymous for fear of job security, from the Wells Fargo fraud
department told the Observer. The source claims that the Clinton campaign
has been pulling this stunt since Spring of this year. The Hillary for
America campaign will overcharge small donors by repeatedly charging small
amounts such as $20 to the bankcards of donors who made a one-time
donation. However, the Clinton campaign strategically doesn’t overcharge
these donors $100 or more because the bank would then be obligated to
investigate the fraud.

“We don’t investigate fraudulent charges unless they are over $100,” the
fraud specialist explained. “The Clinton campaign knows this, that’s why we
don’t see any charges over the $100 amount, they’ll stop the charges just
below $100. We’ll see her campaign overcharge donors by $20, $40 or $60 but
never more than $100.” The source, who has worked for Wells Fargo for over
10 years, said that the total amount they refund customers on a daily basis
who have been overcharged by Clinton’s campaign “varies” but the bank
usually issues refunds that total between $700 and $1,200 per day.

The fraud specialist said that Clinton donors who call in will attempt to
resolve the issue with the campaign first but they never get anywhere.
“They will call the Clinton campaign to get their refund and the issue
never gets resolved. So they call us and we just issue the refund. The
Clinton campaign knows these charges are small potatoes and that we’ll just
refund the money back.”

The source said that pornography companies often deploy a similar
arrangement pull. “We see this same scheme with a lot of seedy porn
companies,” the source said. The source also notes that the dozens of phone
calls his department receives daily are from people who notice the
fraudulent charges on their statements. “The people who call us are just
the ones who catch the fraudulent charges. I can’t imagine how many more
people are getting overcharged by Hillary’s campaign and they have no idea.”

The source said he’s apolitical but noted that the bank’s fraud department
is yet to receive one call from a Donald Trump supporter claiming to have
been overcharged by Trump’s campaign. “I’m only talking to you because what
Hillary’s doing is so messed up, she’s stealing from her poorest
supporters.”
[image: Carol and Roger Mahre.]

Carol Mahre has been charged multiple times after signing up for a one-time
donation. Her son, Roger Mahre, is an attorney who filed a complaint with
Minnesota’s attorney general. Photo: Courtesy Carol Mahre

Wells Fargo recently came under fire after news broke
<https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-09-09/wells-fargo-opened-a-couple-million-fake-accounts>
that
various regulators fined the big bank $185 million for opening 2 million
phony customer accounts without their customers’ permission. This massive
scandal resulted in the firing
<http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/08/investing/wells-fargo-created-phony-accounts-bank-fees/>of
5,300 Wells Fargo employees.

Carol Mahre, an 81-year-old grandmother of seven from Minnesota, is one of
the victims of Clinton’s campaign donor fraud scandal. In March, Mahre said
she made a one-time $25 donation via Clinton’s official campaign website.
However, when she received her U.S. Bank card statement, she noticed
multiple $25 charges were made. Mahre, who said in an interview
<http://www.kare11.com/news/investigations/kare-11-investigates-unauthorized-charges-by-clinton-campaign/229158541>
she
only contributed $25 because she’s “not rich” and that’s all she could
afford, contacted her son, Roger Mahre, to help her dispute the
unauthorized charges.

Roger, who is an attorney, told the Observer that he called the Clinton
campaign dozens of times in April and early May in an attempt to resolve
the issue. “It took me at least 40 to 50 phone calls to the campaign office
before I finally got ahold of someone,” Roger said. “After I got a campaign
worker on the phone, she said they would stop making the charges.”

Incredibly, the very next day, Carol’s card was charged yet again and the
campaign had never reversed the initial fraudulent charges. “I was told
they would stop charging my mother’s card but they never stopped.” He added
that he knows his mother did not sign up for recurring payments. “She’s
very good with the internet so I know she only made a one-time payment.”
Roger also pointed out that even if his mother mistakenly signed up for
recurring monthly payments then she should’ve been charged for the same
amount of money each month, not multiple charges for varying amounts on the
same day or in the same month. Furthermore, Roger said that after the
campaign was made aware of this situation, the charges should’ve stopped
but they never did.

The Clinton campaign overcharged Carol $25 three times and then overcharged
her one time for $19, a grand total of $94 in fraudulent charges. The
campaign’s overcharges to Carol were just a few dollars short of $100. This
is in line with what the Wells Fargo bank source revealed to the Observer.

Since the campaign failed to amend the problem for Carol, Roger contacted
her bank, U.S. Bank. However, he ran into problems when he asked U.S. Bank
to refund his mother’s money. Roger told the Observer that the bank would
not reverse the charges and that a bank spokesperson told him that they had
no control over companies that make unauthorized charges. At that point,
Roger decided to contact his local news and filed a fraud complaint with
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson’s office on behalf of his mother.
After local TV news Kare 11 ran a story, someone from U.S. Bank contacted
Roger the next day and said that they had reversed and stopped the charges
to his mother’s card.

A representative from Minnesota’s Democratic attorney general’s office told
Roger that this problem wasn’t in their jurisdiction and that they had
forwarded the case to the FEC. However, FEC spokesperson Julia Queen told
the Observer they have no record of the case. “We don’t have it,” Queen
said. The Observer contacted Swanson’s office and did not hear back.

Roger did eventually get a letter from a lawyer representing the Clinton
campaign. In the letter, the lawyer wrote that his mother would be removed
from their donor list; however, the campaign did not take any
responsibility for the fraudulent charges.

“They basically said that they weren’t accepting responsibility for this
but they’d remove my mom from the donor list,” he said. Roger is less than
happy with the way the Clinton campaign has handled this nightmare for him
and his mother. “This is a load of crap!” Mahre said. “The
self-righteousness of politicians drives me insane. If you and I did this,
we’d be thrown in jail. This is theft, fraud or wire fraud—it’s a federal
crime!”

Since Carol’s story became public, Roger said he’s heard from other people
who have been ripped off by the Clinton campaign. “I’ve heard this is
happening to other small donors,” Roger said. “People will donate $25, but
then when they receive their credit card statement, they are charged $25
multiple times.”

The incident hasn’t just left a bad taste in Roger’s mouth. Carol decided
she’s not going to vote for Hillary even though she’s voted for the
Democratic presidential nominee every election since President Dwight
Eisenhower won reelection in 1956. “My mother is a lifelong Democrat and
she’s voted every election in her life for a Democrat but she’s not going
to vote for Hillary,” Roger said.

*The New York Times* reported in 2007
<http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/13/us/politics/13donate.html?pagewanted=print>
that
Clinton’s first presidential campaign had to refund and subtract hundreds
of thousands of dollars from its first-quarter total often because donors’
credit cards were charged twice. Additionally, it was reported
<http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/4/1/488052/-> that Clinton had to
refund a stunning $2.8 million in donations, three times more than the
$900K President Barack Obama’s campaign refunded.

Another bank source told the Observer that Clinton’s motivation in
purposefully overcharging donors is not only to rake in more money for her
campaign but also to inflate her small donor numbers reported to the FEC.
“This gives a false impression about how much money Clinton has raised,”
the source said. “The money that the bank has refunded would not be
reflected in the FEC filings till after the election. This gives off the
illusion to the public that her support and the amount she’s raised is much
greater than what it is in reality.”

A Clinton campaign worker named Kathy Callahan, who worked on Clinton’s
presidential campaign in 2008, claimed
<http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/3/10/473007/-> in a blog post that
Clinton fraudulently overcharged her by several thousand dollars. She wrote
that she voluntarily left the campaign’s finance committee after she
discovered $3,000 in unauthorized charges made by Clinton’s campaign to her
Visa card. Callahan said the unauthorized charges caused $400 in overdraft
and bank charges and put Callahan over the legal donor limit. Callahan said
that after a month of “begging and pleading,” she wasn’t able to get her
money back until she threatened to go to authorities. However, when she was
finally refunded her money the Clinton campaign refused to compensate her
for the $400 in overdraft and bank charges.

Callahan also wrote that Matt McQueeney, who worked in the compliance and
accounting department at Clinton’s campaign headquarters at the time, told
her, “What happened to you with credit card errors is happening to others.”
McQueeney reportedly parted ways
<https://newrepublic.com/article/61351/voices-her-head> with the Clinton
campaign shortly after this incident occurred. Backing up what McQueeney
claimed, there were several incidents similar to Callahan’s reported in 2008
<http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/4/1/488052/->. Callahan and McQueeney
could not be reached for comment.

In 2001, the Clintons were accused of attempting to steal items donated to
the White House during Bill’s presidency as he exited office. There was
$190,000 worth of gifts in question that the Clintons shipped to their then
new estate in Chappaqua, New York. Multiple donors said
<http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=121856&page=1> that they had
understood that the items they had donated during Clinton’s presidency were
to stay in the White House as part of the 1993 White House redecoration
project. Initially, the Clintons claimed that the items in question were
given to them prior to President Clinton taking office; however, government
records proved otherwise. Facing strong criticism, the Clintons decided to
return <http://articles.latimes.com/2001/feb/10/news/mn-23723> several
items including $28,500 in furnishings and they paid $86,000 for other
gifts.

Murmurs of theft are nothing new to the Clintons. In 2001, the Clintons
were accused of attempting to steal items
<http://articles.latimes.com/2001/feb/10/news/mn-23723> donated to the
White House during Bill’s presidency as he exited office, including
$190,000 worth of gifts in question that the Clintons shipped to their new
estate in Chappaqua, New York. But Bill begs to differ.

He recently compared himself
<http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/294526-bill-clinton-compares-himself-foundation-to-robin-hood>
to
Robin Hood and said that through their foundation he asks people with money
to give to people who don’t have money. In reality, the Clintons steal from
people who have little money and they’re robbing some of Hillary’s most
impoverished supporters—including a poor elderly grandma—to fund her
campaign.
*Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the
publisher of Observer Media.*http://observer.com/2016/09/exclusive-hillary-
clinton-campaign-systematically-overcharging-poorest-donors/

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