This is an open letter to Rocco Abessinio, President and CEO of Applied Bank.
August 31, 2009
Mr. Rocco A Abessinio
601 Delaware Avenue
Wilmington, DE 19801
Dear Mr. Abessinio,
Normally I don't let idiots upset me, but you, your company, your employees, and/or your agents have crossed a line that I cannot ignore.
I am not now nor have I ever been one of your clients. I have never had an account with any of your financial institutions, my company has never had an account with any of your financial institutions, and no current OR past employee has ever had an account with any of your financial institutions.
I am, however, a business owner who has been harassed by your company.
Over the past few years, ever since I opened my office in Auburn Indiana, I have gotten the occasional collection calls for a Mr. Chad Parrish. Apparently Mr. Parrish previously had the telephone number the phone company re-assigned to my business.
Each time I get the calls, I politely inform the caller that they have the wrong number, that Mr. Parrish does not work for me, I've never met the gentleman, and to please notate the account records that the number that they have is invalid. After they call back a few more times I cease to be polite. Reputable companies never call back. Unfortunately, that can't be said for your company.
Being a small business that takes pride in our customer service, the company telephone lines are forwarded to my cell phone after-hours so that our clients are provided with 24x7x365 emergency support coverage. While I do not enjoy my meals being interrupted by your company's calls, I enjoy even less being awakened in the early morning hours on a weekend. This past weekend that is what happened - not just once, but twice. On both Saturday (29-August-2009) and Sunday (30-August-2009) your agents called during the morning hours while I was still asleep in bed.
Sunday, I after the abusive way in which your agents treated me, I admit that I wasn't nearly as polite as I normally am, however I did have to request multiple times to be transferred to your compliance officer. The supervisor to which I was transferred wasn't the most pleasant either, but he was unintentionally very helpful in volunteering the information that they were not calling my office number but where in fact calling my personal, unpublished cell number directly.
You might note that I have had this cell phone number for almost 20 years. In fact, I had it long before our previous area code of 219 was ever converted to the current 260. Therefore, I can unequivocally state that the number they were calling has NEVER been associated with any account or account holder which your company has ever held. I can also state the number is listed on both the federal and State of Indiana do-not-call lists.
The Indiana Do-Not-Call list is very restrictive. In fact, by calling it this past weekend your company engaged in felonious criminal activity. Yes, in addition to fines that means you and other members of your company could even face prison time.
Calling my office is one thing, violating privacy laws and tracking down my private personal numbers and harassing me there takes things to a whole new level. This isn't a matter of tracking down a new number for a previous customer. This is a matter of you knowingly, deliberately, and ILLEGALLY calling people who have already told you not to call.
After getting off the phone and doing a little research, I was not surprised that you and your company behaved in such manner. In fact, you seem to be no stranger to engaging in criminal activity, having been sued and cited on a number of occasions for violating the laws of the United States and various states. Since you already have a number of civil and criminal suits pending, and that the amount of money that you make from your criminal and legitimate activities exceeds 100 million dollars a year, I realize the futility of yet another criminal or civil complaint.
However, I am not one to let things sit idly by either.
Applied Bank, a privately held financial institution chartered by the state of Delaware, has been personally observed and documented by me to have engaged in felonious criminal activities in the ongoing pursuit of personal enrichment of the owners of said corporation. In light of the public statements made by former employees and legal counsel, it is clear that this ongoing criminal activity is part of the corporate culture of Applied Bank, its officers, and its employees.
You have engaged in obstructing and/or falsifying caller id records in order to access and utilize, without license or permission, the communication assets of DBLY Group and/or its owners. By doing so not only have you engaged in theft of service, you have violated the Digital Communications Millennium Act. You have repeatedly called numbers after you have been told not to do so, engaging in a pattern of criminal harassment. You have called numbers on the Indiana Do-Not-Call belonging to individuals with whom you do not have an established business relationship for the express purpose of furthering your business interests, which in and of itself is a felony in the state of Indiana. You release privileged banking information regarding collection accounts to individuals who are not authorized to have access to such information - in violation of federal banking and collection laws.
These actions are not hearsay - these are actions which I have personally witnessed and documented.
As such, the following sanctions are now in affect:
Applied Bank, being actively involved in felonious criminal activity, including deliberately engaging in fraud in an attempt to illegally use the assets of DBLY Group and/or its owner, is hereby publicly designated as having the status of CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE.
Mr. Rocco A. Abessinio, being the owner of said company and having been repeatedly notified by various individuals and governmental agencies of the criminal activities taking place for the benefit of his personal finances, and having willfully allowed such criminal activities to continue in his name, is hereby considered a KNOWING AND WILLFUL ACCESSORY to this FELONIOUS CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.
Applied bank, having obtained the status of Criminal Enterprise, as well as their officers, employees and agents, either directly or through third parties, are explicitly banned from any and all access to any DBLY Group faculties and facilities. They are explicitly banned from physically entering any real estate owned or leased by DBLY Group and/or its owners. They are explicitly banned from initiating any data traffic that may transit or terminate on any DBLY Group facilities, including but not limited to any router, firewall, web server, email server, data communication circuit, voicemail server, or facsimile machine.
Credit Cards or any other checks or financial instruments issued through Applied Bank and/or their affiliated companies, including but not necessarily limited to Applied Card Bank, Cross Country Bank, Applied Card Systems, First DeWitt Bank, Ocean Independent Bank, or the United Bank of Philadelphia, are no longer considered to be acceptable methods of payment and SHALL NOT be accepted by this business.
Any individual who is a current employee of Applied Bank, having been a willing participant of this corporate culture of criminal activity, is hereby permanently banned from obtaining employment at DBLY Group. Furthermore, any such employee who is publicly named as an officer is subject to being explicitly named and sanctioned here.
My hope is that individuals and businesses who are entertaining the idea of utilizing the services of your companies read this letter, and thus recognizing the unethical and illegal practices in which you routinely engage opt to take their business to more reputable firms.
As time permits, links to other public articles dealing with this topic will also be posted.