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Hoffman letter to SecurePay

Hoffman letter to SecurePay

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Published by Jude R. Seymour

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Jude R. Seymour on Sep 08, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 TELEPHONE (518) 439-9999FACSIMILE (518) 439-9253
 November 27, 2009
Via US Express MailVia US Express MailVia US Express MaiUS USU
Mr. Kevin J. WellerMr. MacAllister SmithMr. Stuart C. Harvey, Jr.PresidentCEOCEO Northern Merchants Services, Inc.Pipeline Data, Inc.Elavon, Inc.3 West Main Street4400 N. Point ParkwayOne Concourse ParkwayBrasher Falls, NY 13613-7700Suite 260Suite 300Alpharetta, GA 30022-2429Atlanta, GA 30328-5346
 Re:Doug Hoffman For Congress, Inc. SecurePay.com, Inc. - Northern Merchants Services, Inc. Merchant No.: 8016003934
Dear Gentlemen:I have been retained by the Doug Hoffman For Congress campaign (hereinafter the“Campaign”) with regard to the above-referenced matter. In or about October, 2009 my client’scampaign engaged the services of SecurePay.com, Inc. for the express purpose of utilizing its servicesto collect and process internet campaign donations made by those individuals who desired tocontribute to his campaign for Congress. Moreover, and as I am sure you are fully aware, allcandidates for Congress must comply with exceptionally strict and rigid reporting guidelines set forthin the U.S. Code and enforced by the Federal Election Commission. Violations of these statutes andrules may result in both criminal and civil penalties. It is as a result of the confluence of these two points/issues that has caused me to write this letter, seeking to put you on notice that your companieshave: failed to provide that which your companies promised; as a result of your companiesovercharging the accounts of the contributors to the Campaign your companies have overcharged theCampaign; have failed to provide the necessary and, in many instances, the correct information uponwhich my client may make accurate disclosures to the Federal Election Commission, as required bythe appropriate statutes; and have completely ignored the pleas of the treasurer and staff of theCampaign to provide the ‘batch’ information such that it can verify and correct
Mr. Kevin J. Weller Mr. MacAllister SmithMr. Stuart C. Harvey, Jr. November 27, 2009Page - 2 -Let me provide you with a brief history of what has transpired so that you may have the contextin which to understand my client’s frustration, concern and anger with your companies’: failure toaccurately account for the campaign contribution transactions; overcharging of campaign contributors(whom have threatened to report this issue to both the press and the police solely as a result of 
companies’ failure to accurately charge or debit their accounts for their actual contributions);overcharging the campaign for ‘phantom’ contributions that were actually errors made by your companies; intentionally misleading the Campaign in October and early November when it advisedthat all contributions had been accounted for and were deposited in the Campaign’s bank account andthen, in November, your staff came in and pushed through an additional $175,000.00 in contributionsthat had been made in October but had not been credited to the Campaign’s bank account within thetwo or three days as your companies promised; and, the most recent incredible indiscretion, you havefailed to return the calls of the Campaign who are seeking assistance to resolve the above-referencedissues (mostly resulting from your inaccurate batch reports) so that it can comply with the U.S. Codestatutes and regulations regarding campaign contribution disclosures and the requirements of theFederal Election Commission. As a result of 
companies errors, the Campaign still has not fullyrectified
companies mistakes and has incurred thousands of dollars in ‘
’ costs in order toreview and correct your companies errors.Hereafter is a brief summary of the issues:
On or about October 20, 2009 the Campaign observed that the morning Batch
Settlements reports provided to it by Secure Pay were considerably lower than thetransaction dollar amounts actually posted online for the previous day by Secure Pay.It appears from the record that Secure Pay utilized Northern Merchants Services, Inc.(I am aware that both companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Pipeline Data, Inc.)to conduct their business and that Northern Merchant Services, Inc. utilized Elavon to‘batch’ these transactions;
On October 21, 2009 the Campaign notified Secure Pay (I believe the campaign has
dealt exclusively with a Ms. Jolene LaSiege, who advised the campaign that she is theSenior Manager-Technical Support) of the large difference in the two reports.Campaign was advised by Ms. Jolene LaSiege and Ms. Kerry Planty, TechnicalSupport Specialist, that all the contributions were being reported and that thediscrepancy resulted merely from a ‘timing’ issue and breaking the batches into batches of “950” for processing ease. As a result of the strict and rigid campaigncontribution finance laws, the Campaign requested a copy of the batch reports in order to ensure that the records provided by your companies were indeed accurate and toensure that it would accurately report the campaign contributions on its FederalElection reports;
Mr. Kevin J. Weller Mr. MacAllister SmithMr. Stuart C. Harvey, Jr. November 27, 2009Page - 3 -
On October 22, 2009, Campaign again notifies Secure Pay that the batch reports
differ from the online reports. Secure Pay again advises that it was merely from a‘timing’ issue and breaking the batches into batches of “950” for processing ease;
On October 23, 2009, Campaign forwards to Ms. Jolene LaSiege a spreadsheet
demonstrating the dollar differences between the website contributions and the amountSecure Pay is processing for Campaign;
On October 23, 2009, Ms. Jolene LaSiege response to the Campaign is that there are
so many transactions that the batch is settling twice per day and that is where thediscrepancy arises, without providing the Campaign with any actual support for her assertions;
Between October 24, 2009 thru November 2, 2009, Campaign spent massive
amount of time responding to irate campaign contributors who have advised that:Secure Pay has doubled and tripled billed their credit card accounts and their debit cardaccounts; and have made hundreds of mistakes in the amount charged to the campaigncontributors credit card accounts and their debit card accounts. For example, acampaign contribution of $100.00 was incorrectly credited/debited for $1,000.00. TheCampaign had to email and/or phone each of these contributors to prevent them fromgoing to the police and the press;
On November 3, 2009, the day of the election, Ms. Jolene LaSiege contacts the
campaign and requests that the Campaign ‘stay off’ the system for a
 few hours
. Ms.LaSiege advised that Secure Pay needed to ‘take over’ the system to FORCE throughsome transactions because it appears that the Campaign was correct and Secure Payhad dropped some campaign contribution transactions. She explained that Secure Paywould have to manually input these ‘dropped’ transactions. They also alleged that theywould be inputting ‘credits’ for those campaign contributors who were double or triplecharged/debited;
 few hours
requested by Ms. Jolene LaSiege turned into more than five (5) days(Sunday, November 8, 2009) and $175,000.00 in transactions, which again many
were incorrect. In many or most of the situations where Secure Pay was supposed tocredit the campaign contributor for Secure Pay’s mistake of double or triplecharge/debit, Secure Pay actually charged their accounts again, causing another flurryof calls to the Campaign;

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