(WWBT) - An 85-year-old Korean War Veteran becomes the victim of identity thieves.
When NBC12 first talked to Carl Ray Bryant on April 12, he said $34,000 was stolen from his bank account. He thought he lost it all.
At first, Bank of America would not budge, but after On Your Side Investigator Diane Walker got involved, they decided to review the case again, and ultimately, return Bryant's money.
The stolen money was all 85-year-old Carl Ray Bryant could think about since it went missing from his Bank of America account six months ago.
"It was $34,000...and they never called me," said Bryant.
He says two years ago, $10,000 was taken from his account. Like now, he suspected his 27-year-old granddaughter and her boyfriend. Heather Jordan is charged with two counts of credit card theft and two counts of credit card fraud and has a hearing in June. The boyfriend has not been charged in this case.
But here's the family's argument: steps were taken two years ago to protect his money. He reported his granddaughter, closed out the old account and Bank of America said his money was protected...but apparently, it wasn't.
"How would you like to wake up one day, and you ain't no money? None. You can't pay the light bill. You can't pay the telephone bill. You can't buy food," said Bryant. "The man told me, who gave it to me, that I changed the accounts, that nobody can get the money except you and that you have to have a picture ID and driver's license."
Bryant's daughter, Tami Fry, says the account was drained online. After she discovered it, Bank of America would not refund her dad's life savings, stating that they had given his pass code to someone and had authorized the withdrawals.
"They don't care that they made a pauper out of my father," said Fry. "They are going right on their way, making money in their pockets, and they don't care...I'm to the end of my rope. I've seen this man say he wants to kill himself because they took all his money."
Hours after reaching out to Bank of America, the company sent an email to Diane Walker, stating that it would be reaching out to the customer to inform him about how to recover his lost funds.
The family says they learned after the devastation that more could have been done to safeguard his money.
"She said there's a number you can call to block online access, and I said 'nobody told us this all these years?'"
Following up with Bryant, he says he got his life back, after Bank of America returned $28,000 - the amount they say was fraudulently removed from the account. He received two checks on Tuesday - one for the money that was stolen, and one for the fees the bank charged him.
"I got my money back, and everybody is happy. I know I am happy," said Bryant.
"The biggest weight in the world was just lifted off my shoulder," said Fry.
The first things Carl did with his money was to buy three new tires for his car, pay his mortgage and purchase his medications.
"Between the power of prayer and 12 On Your Side, my dad got his life back. Not just his money. His life. That's all thanks to you all," said Fry.
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