In 2007, Western Union reported $203.5 million dollars of “settlement assets”, reads the class action complaint filed by John Black’ law firm Freed and Weiss. According to John Black, Western Union reported $348.8 million dollars in 2006 of “settlement assets.” John Black states that “settlement assets” as defined by Western Union in their own words are “unsettled money transfers.” According to John Black, this means that when a customer uses Western Union’s services to transfer money and there is a failure to complete the transfer, Western Union, remarkably, holds the amount transferred without notifying the consumer. “This is not conscionable and is simply not fair to folks who use Western Union’s money transfer services,” asserts John Black.
While it would be expected and in fact quite simple to contact its customers and notify them that the money transfer was not completed, points out John Black, Western Union refuses to do so. “Instead, they literally hold the money and tell no one,” says John Black. John Black, reading from the filed class action suit, notes that, “Western Union in their 10-K form for period ending December 31, 2007 reported the ‘unsettled money transfers’ as ‘settlement assets.’” John Black explains that Western Union claims the unclaimed funds are not used to support Western Union operations, but are utilized to ‘earn income’ for the company. “They use money that does not belong to them to make money for their company,” John Black states.
According to the investigation by John Black’ law firm, Freed & Weiss, Western Union most likely believes that these funds are better than an interest-free loan. For years, notes John Black, Western Union can use the funds and earn interest on them and then, remarkably, charges the customer when it returns the funds. “The customer,” asserts John Black, “should be receiving their money back in full plus interest, not paying fees.”
Only years later, says John Black, does Western Union contact customers with the information that the transaction they paid for was never completed. John Black alleges that Western Union hides behind individual state unclaimed property statutes to hold the money and use it interest free.
Freed & Weiss, the law firm of which John Black is a founding member, has filed a putative class action suit in the Federal District Court of Denver, Colorado. “This is clearly a case of unfair and really unconscionable conduct,” states John Black. “These actions, taken by Western Union enrich their business at the harmful cost of its customers,” continues John Black.
If you are a person who sent money through Western Union that was not collected, and Western Union never returned the money or waited several years to return the money, you are invited to contact Freed & Weiss for assistance at http://freedweiss.com or toll-free at (866) 779-9610.
About John Black
John Black believes that companies have the obligation to treat fairly, serve and protect their customers. When they do not, John Black has served successfully as a voice for those who have been wronged. A founding partner of Freed & Weiss, John Black has been lead and co-lead counsel on many high profile class action suits totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements for clients.
Educated at Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington, John Black was a member of the Indiana Law Journal and the honorary society of the Order of COIF, graduating magna cum laude. As a member of the Northern District Trial Bar, John Black is admitted to general legal practice in the State of Illinois, United States District Courts for Northern and Southern Illinois and United States District Court of Eastern Michigan. As well, John Black has been admitted to practice pro hac vice in several federal courts including New Jersey, Idaho, New Mexico, California, and Florida. Considered an expert in the field, John Black has litigated numerous class action suits in state and federal courts.
The published opinions of John Black are too numerous to enumerate. Included in the list are Harper v. LG Electronics USA, Inc., Waudby v. Verizon Wireless Services LLC, Kinkel v. Cingular Wireless, Carey v. Kerr McGee Chemical Company and Pella Corp. v. Saltzman. Under the leadership of John Black, Freed & Weiss have recovered over $230 million dollars for clients in class action and MDL litigation. Many of theses cases included Fortune 500 companies with names such as Best Buy, AOL, Chase and Verizon.
John Black and Freed & Weiss have been the forefront leaders of raising awareness concerning fraudulent reimbursement practices of insurance companies. Through the means of class action, John Black obtained millions of dollars in relief for clients of auto insurers. As well, under the oversight of John Black, Freed & Weiss have fought to protect medical providers against fraudulent out of network reductions. Dedicated to the interests of medical professionals and their ability to provide quality healthcare, John Black continues with pending litigation against Aetna, Cigna, and WellPoint.
The April 2003 edition of National Law Journal featured John Black in their article, “Class Actions: The Battle Heats Up.” The National Law Journal published a sequel to the April article with another feature on the topic of Illinois class action suits. John Black has been an honored guest lecturer at Chicago-Kent College of Law and the Chicago School of Law at Loyola University.
Prior to being a founding partner of Freed & Weiss, John Black practiced law in Seattle, Washington. While working in Seattle, for then Hagens & Berman, his exclusive focus was on plaintiff consumer class action cases.
John Black resides with his wife of 13 years, Jamie. In addition to being a husband, and father of two boys, he enjoys traveling, snorkeling, gardening, photography (many of his photos can be viewed at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/paul-weiss.html) and arcade gaming.
To contact John Black at Freed & Weiss, or to speak with an attorney at Freed & Weiss, visit their website online at http://freedweiss.com or call 866-779-9610.