A Toronto man has filed a $225,000 lawsuit against Scotiabank alleging racial profiling, the Toronto Star reports.
Last April, Frantz St. Fleur tried to deposit a $9,000 cheque at a Scotiabank branch at the Scarborough Town Centre and ended up getting arrested, according to his statement of claim, because the cheque was suspected to be fraudulent.
“It was horrible. The worst thing that ever happened to me. I’ve never been arrested (in) my life," he told the Star.
Real estate company Re/Max gave 38-year-old St. Fleur the cheque as a refund for a deposit he put down on a condo, according to Global News. The company maintains the cheque was valid.
But when he went to the bank to deposit the cheque, St. Fleur said he was taken to an office, questioned, and then left alone. Later, the police showed up.
“They said you’re under arrest. I said why?," St. Fleur, who was later taken to Toronto Police's 43 Division, told the network. "And then they said you’re under arrest because you’re trying to cash a fraudulent cheque."
“We have always taken the position that the cheque was valid," Re/Max said in a statement to Global. "According to our independent phone records, the bank has not contacted us on this matter.”
According to CTV News, St. Fleur said he later got a letter from the bank apologizing "for any offense" experienced, and that the bank, as a "goodwill gesture," would be "reversing the fees" on his account.
"We've come to the conclusion the only reason this was done is because Mr. St. Fleur is black," Paul Druxerman, St. Fleur's lawyer, told the broadcaster. None of the claims have been proven in court.
St. Fleur's statement of claim names Re/Max Community Realty Inc. bank, the Bank of Nova Scotia and the Toronto Police Services Board, according to the Star.
“I filed this suit because I’m still looking for answers about why this happened. I banked with them for almost 10 years — since 2005,” he said.
“I have all my accounts with them. I’m looking for answers about exactly why they did what they did.”
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