Senior Citizens and Veterans Devastated by Pritzker's Bank Failure

Senior Citizens and Veterans Devastated by Pritzker's Bank Failure

Fran Sweet, a 68-year old retiree, says she is still out $69,400 after the failure of Penny Pritzker’s subprime-speculating Superior Bank in 2001. Sweet told Breitbart News, “It was not a failure. It was a bank robbery… My feeling is she has no business being nominated to Secretary of Commerce. She has unfinished business here in Illinois, she needs to pay us back the money she stole from us. She stole our life savings.”

Sweet said, “I’m still out $69,400 plus interest for $364,000 that she stole, got $100,000 back right away, and then payments over the years, but if we had our money, we could have been making interest, we lost more than our face value.”

Sweet is not the only one frightened by the idea of Penny Pritzker getting her hands on the Commerce Department. There are still over 1400 depositors who lost over $10 million in total, which seems more and more likely now, will never be fully repaid by the Pritzker family.

Another depositor in the Superior Bank, John Courtney, is also still out $60,000. Courtney told Breitbart News he worked 45 years in construction, before that, odd jobs, he volunteered for the draft in 1964, went to Vietnam in ’65. He’s suffered broken bones, his foot and shoulder specifically from heavy machinery construction in his hard work over the years and been through an open-heart surgery.

“I’m not blaming anyone for what I’ve gone through,” Courtney said, “But for someone who flaunts it, and lets everyone know they are a billionaire, you know, years ago, when a bank went bankrupt, the owner of the bank when bankrupt too. I’m still out $60k.”

When confronted by the idea of Pritzker becoming the head of the Commerce Department, Courtney said, “When I was in school, they taught us you had to have an impeccable character to run for Congress or president or public office, now it seems like the worse you are, the better off you are,” and Pritzker appears to be no different.

The Pritzkers received an unheard-of sweetheart deal, according to Clint Krislov, the attorney who represented some of the depositors in a class action RICO suit, to recover their losses. That suit, however, was unsuccessful, and left the depositors un-whole still.

In that “sweetheart deal,” the Pritzkers agreed to pay the FDIC $460 million to the government, $100 million upfront, with interest-free payments over the next 15 years. John Courtney believes that was not only an outrageous gift to the Pritzkers, but also says, “Had the FDIC required they pay interest, there likely would have been enough money collected to fully repay the depositors.”

Courtney asked, “when have you ever heard of someone owing money to the government, and not being required to pay interest?”

Courtney told Breitbart News that after it had been announced that Superior Bank was placed in a receivership with the FDIC in 2001, depositors lined up at the bank to try and recover their deposits. He said it was like a “soup line…People were there asking about getting there life savings back, and I watched one of the bankers tell an elderly man, he can have a seat, and have a coffee and a donut, and that was all he was going to get.”

To add insult to injury, Courtney explained, that while over the years, the FDIC has made disbursement payments to the depositors, sometimes sending checks for several hundred or couple thousand dollars, and each time deducting a $25 fee for cutting the check, while the Pritzkers never had to pay a penny of interest.

In 2008, regarding Penny Pritzker’s involvement as a top campaign bundler for President Obama’s 2008 campaign, Anne MacKay, the niece of Irene Kortas, another depositor, told the Washington Times:

Ms. Pritzker should be fired by the Obama campaign because of how these matters were handled… She trusted these people and she trusted the Pritzker name, which is well-known in Chicago,” Mrs. MacKay said. “They had given her a toaster and a set of glasses, but obviously they didn’t know what they were doing when it came to protecting her investment.”

The Times reported: “Irene Kortas’ estate is still owed about $40,000 from the $209,000 she lost when the bank closed seven years ago. Miss Kortas died at age 79, one year after learning that her savings had been lost.”

John Courtney commented on Ms. Kortas’ ordeal with Superior Bank, telling Breitbart News, “I can’t say this is why…But after the stress of lost savings and moving to a new nursing home because of it, she passed away within a year.”

At one point, during our interview, Courtney recalled asking the bankers about the security of his money, to which they replied, “the Pritzkers own this bank”–implying nothing could be more secure. It had, after all, the Pritzker name, and they are billionaires, so Courtney felt reassured. He said it was only a couple months later that he found out he was going to lose his hard earned and saved money.

“I worked for AT&T for 23 years, when SBC bought out Ameritech, I decided to leave, I got a buyout package and had a 401k for savings and retirement. I had planned on retirement, but after that, there was no retiring, so I had to keep working,” Sweet said. 

“Penny Pritzker is a dishonest woman, this is a woman with no morals, she is going to give them (the government) guidance to stiff us more.”

For more details on the Superior Bank failure click here.

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Photo source: Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times