Reporting Kurtis Ming
A Sacramento single mom says someone else got their hands on her rent, cashing the money orders.
It was time to call Kurtis to investigate.
Her landlord requires money orders, but she says they were altered to show someone else’s name and cashed.
Those Western Union money orders were meant to cover single mom Sharnice Knight’s rent.
She says the money orders sent to her home never showed up, but Western Union says they were cashed.
“My landlord every month is like where’s October’s rent? He wants his money,” said Sharnice.
Western Union sent copies of the money orders, but she noticed the name and the address on the money orders had been changed.
“I was very upset, I was mad, furious, trying to figure out how this could happen,” said Sharnice.
CBS13 ran the name, learning the man whose name is on the check has a long criminal history, including convictions for forgery and check fraud.
When CBS13 stopped by the liquor store where they were cashed, the manager gave us a copy of the driver’s license the person used, which has the same address and name someone put on the money orders.
“He used to be my regular customer. He’s been coming here for three to four years,” said Mike Singh, manager of Star Mart Liquor & Groceries.
We paid a visit to an address we had for the man. No one was home. We learned he may be staying at a home nearby.
We told the people inside the home, “This was some lady’s rent money and somehow, this money order ended up with his name and address on it.”
They told us they haven’t seen him for days but told us his ID had been stolen a few months back.
“Any time fraud is involved, you want to file a local police report,” said Alana Golden, a spokesperson for the California Department of Financial Institutions.
The state agency that oversees money transfer companies says it could take a criminal investigation to figure out what happened here.
But time was running out for Sharnice to pay her rent.
“I can’t afford to pay $2,600 for one month,” said Sharnice.
After we got involved, Western Union wired Sharnice $1,300 so she can finally cover October’s rent.
“Relief! Some of the stress will be off me. I know my landlord will be happy,” said Sharnice.
We left our phone number for the person whose name was on the check to give us a call. We have yet to hear from him.
We’ve been trying to get Sharnice and the convenience stores where the checks were cashed to file a police report so someone can investigate.
So far they haven’t.
Western Union Statement
It is our policy at Western Union not to reveal the details of investigations.
The 3 refund checks were sent to the correct address we have on file for Ms. Sharnice Knight. Based on our findings, we’ve issued a refund to Ms. Knight.
Satisfying the customer is at the center of our business at Western Union and we’re committed to achieving this with everyone who uses our services, whether they are paying a bill or sending a money transfer to a relative in a distant country.
Thanks for your outreach.
Anna M. Alejo,
Director, Corporate Communications, The Western Union Company