Former Army Reservist Says Bank of America Left Him With $25,000 in Debit Charges

PHOTO: John McDevitt, 52, a U.S. Army Reservist from Clayville, N.Y., says Bank of America is not helping him re-coup $25,243.71 in fraudulent charges accrued on his debit card while on leave from service.

John McDevitt, a U.S. Army reservist from Clayville, N.Y., said Bank of America and Visa have not helped him re-coup $25,243.71 in fraudulent charges accrued on his debit card almost two years ago while he was on leave from service.

McDevitt, 52, of Clayville, N.Y., served in Afghanistan for a year and spent his two free weeks in Greece in November 2010 according to a policy afforded to soldiers deployed in a combat zone.

"My kids are grown," he said of his children ages 29 and 27. "I'm in my 50s. I always wanted to go to Athens, Greece because I'm a big history buff."

While in Athens and by himself, McDevitt said he asked a taxi driver to take him to a nightclub without a specific destination.

"I told the taxi driver I want to go to a night club – not a strip club," he said.

He said the driver brought him to a club at around 10 p.m. but he "didn't like the environment." He said he ordered two beers.

He said he was at a club called Palia Plaka for about an hour and a half.

McDevitt said he only talked to the waiter while he sat at a small table, though "a couple girls tried to come over."

"I already know what that's about," he told ABC News. "I said, 'Nope.'"

When he tried to pay with his Bank of America debit card and leave the club, he said workers claimed he owed them more money. Instead of arguing with them, he said he paid the inflated sum of 600 euros, signed a receipt for his drinks and left.

"I'm in Athens, Greece. I don't want to go to jail," he said. "You sign, you leave. You just want to get out of there."

Two weeks later at his base in Afghanistan, he said he checked his account online and saw six charges totaling $25,243.71. The charges were between $2,058.66 and $6,780.66 for Nov. 12, Nov. 19 and Nov. 22, 2010.

Outraged over the charges he said Bank of America should refund him, McDevitt protested outside a branch in Utica, N.Y. last week, holding a sign that read, "A soldier that puts America first should have a bank that puts the soldier first,"as reported by WKTV.

On Nov. 29, 2010, McDevitt notified Bank of America, which issued a temporary credit to his account for the full amount on Dec. 3, 2010, while the fraud claim was being reported. But the bank took back the funds after determining that "no error had occurred in this instance" as stated in a letter sent Dec. 9. 2010 from the bank.

McDevitt said his only option was to use a debit card because he has been unable to obtain a credit card after his ex-wife filed for bankruptcy.

"I paid off all my credit, but I still can't get a credit card," he said. Now an auditor with New York State, he also wanted to use his money to help pay for his daughter's wedding in June.

"Right now, my parents are helping me out because they know my situation," he said. "I tried to get a loan but because of my past credit, that's denied."

In a letter provided to ABC News by McDevitt, the bank said that on Dec. 9, 2010, it "received the signed sales drafts from the merchant reflecting your signature and card imprint."

Attempts by ABC News to reach the club for comment were unsuccessful.

"We found that the transaction activity in question was authorized and posted, or billed, correctly to your account," the letter stated.

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