An African American woman says prejudice is alive and well in 2022. The 71-year-old claims she tried to cash a five-figure check at a Michigan bank but was turned down by three white bank employees.

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Longtime Detroit Public School Employee in Disbelief

Lizzie Pugh is a retired Detroit Public School employee. She hit it big recently when she and a group of church friends headed off on a casino excursion. Lizzie won a sizable amount of money playing the slot machines and went home with a five-figure check from the casino.

As thrilled as she was about her win, that's where Pugh's joy ends.

Lizzie attempted to cash the check at a 5/3 bank branch in Livonia according to USA Today. She says three white bank employees denied her the opportunity to cash the check, saying it was fraudulent. On top of that, they confiscated the check.

"I couldn’t really believe they did that to me," Pugh said in a recent interview. "I was devastated. I kept asking, 'How do you know the check is not real?' ... And they just insisted that it was fraudulent ... I was just terrified."

Pugh says she was devasted by the way she was treated. After a great deal of haggling, she was able to get the check back and successfully deposited it at a nearby Chase Bank.

Woman Files Lawsuit Against 5/3 Bank

Although Pugh felt hurt, humiliated, and disrespected, she didn't think legal action was warranted. It was at the insistence of her niece Yoland McGee that she finally filed a lawsuit against the bank.

"Fifth Third Bank needs to know that they humiliated you," McGee told her aunt. "What they did was wrong. And they need to answer for this."

Late last month, a lawsuit was filed against 5/3 bank in US District Court. The details of that lawsuit are not available at this time.


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