TPF Payments Delayed
If you requested a payment from the Perl Foundation recently, you may have noticed a little bit of lag in receiving your check. Or, a very few of you were even unfortunate enough to have received a check and then asked not to cash it. Here's what happened...
Back in November, our accountant noticed a transaction from our October statement that we did not recognize. Having only been the Treasurer for less than two years, this wasn't all together unusual. I'm still learning odd expenses here and there that TPF covers. So, I started digging into it, trying to find out exactly what it might be. I eventually found out that The Perl Foundation's checking account had been charged via ACH by a property management company for somebody's rent. I made contact with the company and informed them of the mistake. They handed me a "don't call us, we'll call you" line. I handed them back a "call me, or I'm calling my bank" line.
So, I started keeping an eye on the checking account more closely and slowly we started seeing additional unexplained charges showing up.. cell phone, cable bill, etc... I contacted the bank and started issuing disputes on these charges, but they kept coming in.
Next, we started seeing actual paper checks being issued. Somebody had reproduced paper checks with their name & address, but TPF's account number. Interestingly, they had wrong routing number. The routing number being used was our routing number for wire transfers, not for paper checks. Apparently as long as you use one of the bank's routing numbers on your checks, they don't care which one you use, because they decided to honor the checks anyway. I suspect they got the information they needed from our (now redacted) payments information page -- a page previously used to provide information to people that wanted to send us wire transfers.
So, we closed that checking account and created a new one. We had to go through the standard delay of getting new signature cards completed, and getting new checks printed. But now, we are up and operational again. Everybody that requested payments has either already received it, or will be getting their new check in the mail next week.
All of our disputes were successful, so the only money lost was the cost of printing new checks. The alleged perpetrator does not appear to have any ties to the Perl community and is currently under investigation.