Knoxville bank stopped paving scam from costing customer $6K

Investigations

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — An alert bank manager saved a Knoxville man from being scammed by a paving contractor.

The manager felt something wasn’t right about a $6,000 check written by one of the bank’s well-known customers.

Vaughn, an 85-year-old Korean War veteran, was approached by three men at his home. Vaughn is the man’s first name. He asked we not reveal his last name.

“They wanted to seal my driveway,” Vaughn said. “Like he started at $50 a gallon. Then $45, $40, then down to $30. He kept wanting me to agree to let him start.”

Within an hour they had sprayed sealant on Mr. Vaughn’s driveway.

The workers not only sprayed the driveway, but over-sprayed the walkway, and even slopped sealant on the garage door.

With three men hovering over him Mr. Vaughn reluctantly wrote the check for the job.

Vaughn wrote a check to Jefferey White. Vaughn said White and two other men wanted him to accompany them to his bank to receive payment but he refused.

Instead, they drove to the Powell branch of Commercial Bank and tried to cash the check themselves.

“It was something not ordinary,” Commercial Bank branch manager Steve Mouser said. “That’s what we look for. He had gotten out of a car and did not park within our branch.”

Mouser said two others in the car parked at a grocery store lot next to the bank, like they didn’t want any pictures of their car taken. The bank manager alerted his teller, warning her about his suspicion.

“We know our customers,” Branch Manager Greg McReynolds said. “This is about elder abuse, but this could happen to anybody.”

The bank refuse to cash the check and have given video of the man to detectives.

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