Andrew McCullough's Blog

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Patriot Act again!

January 29, 2009

For the last several years, I have lived with a Little gnawing fear in the back of my head. It all started with a letter from the bank where I keep my general account for my law office. Due to the Patriot Act and its provisions on money laundering, they had found "suspicious" activity in my account. They had closed the account without warning, because the main source of funds was money from another account in my own name. That account, of course, is my client trust account, where I keep client money until it is earned. Once a week or so, I transfer that money to my general account and use it to pay firm bills, including my secretaries. Then I take what has not been spent on bills and transfer it to yet another account in my name -- my personal account, and pay my own personal bills. I have been doing this for 35 years. When I explained this to them, they apologized, told me it would not happen again, and reopened my account. But, of course, by then, there were several bounced checks that I had to deal with.

Well, today, it happened again. This time they have given me until Monday to get my money out, before they close the account. Somewhere in Texas, Mr. Bush is laughing that his outrageous "national security" measures have caught another innocent victim. This time I do not want to reopen the account. I asked for 30 days to clear it out in an orderly manner; and I am awaiting word. In the meantime, I am not identifying the bank. But I am angry, hurt, and afraid of my government and what it can do to turn my life upside down without any thought or repercussion.

I am Chair of the Utah Libertarian Party. Many ask why we need a small party like ours. Why not work within the "two party system"? Well, today, we see why there must be others who will raise their voices and tell the government to stop oppressing its citizens. And to stop enlisting our banks, our neighbors, and our associates to help. Almost all members of Congress, from both "major" parties voted for the Patriot Act without even knowing what was in it. I cannot continue to live in fear like this. I will find a smaller bank, where I can talk to the bank officers, and where they will not do this to me again. But, I am not the only one who has been treated like this.

What about you? Are you living in fear? Or are you just too naive to be afraid? On January 20, I woke up and declared that the "reign of terror is over." No, it is not! We still have cause to live in fear. Mr. Obama, what will you do to make it less so?


  • At 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Andy. I suggest a Credit Union, much better in almost all ways than banks. As for this Patriot Act, it's just another example of a bureaucracy run amok. Like they always do, they catch the innocent victims because they're not running and have nothing to hide (Gee, how easy to catch these "Criminals"!).

  • At 7:39 PM, Blogger Jill said…

    I too have recently been the victim of a big the tune of about $700.00 in "fees" donated to the bank, due to one honest mistake on my part. Just yesterday, I opened a new account at a credit union and will be taking my three accounts out of the above bank!

  • At 7:38 AM, Blogger mhoenig said…

    Hi, Andy. I, too, recommend a credit union. Remember, as Bertold Brecht said, "Which is the greater crime: To rob a bank or to own one?"

    Good luck to us all.


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