Saying the owner of a local money-wiring business stole thousands of dollars from them, a group of Olneyville residents who frequently send money to family members in other countries will hold a rally at near the corner of Chalkstone Boulevard and Academy Avenue Saturday at 2pm.
“I work two jobs- usually 16 hours a day- just to support my family. Losing my hard-earned money had a huge impact on my family,” Eduardo Gonzalez, a customer of the business and event organizer, said in a press release. ” I am working with other … customers not only to get my money back, but to make sure that no one else goes through what we went through.”
The owner of the business could not be immediately reached for comment.
Susan Beaty, of the Olneyville Neighborhood Association, which is helping to organize the action, said some people have lost as much as $5,000 and others between $1,000 and $2,000. She said it’s hard to quantify the number of victims – which is one of reasons for the protest – but the group has held three informational meetings since learning of the potential crimes about a month ago and each meeting has attracted about 20 people.
Olneyville residents with family in other countries often utilize such businesses as a way to send money to their families back home. Undocumented workers often pay in cash. This makes them an easy target because they may fear going to the police with their problem because it could spark questions about their immigration status. Police have not been contacted yet.
“Many of these customers are Latino immigrant who used the service to send their hard-earned dollars home to support their families in Guatemala, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere,” according to the press release.