Women said they were denied loans because of race

Grameen America fired employee

INDIANAPOLIS - The Call 6 Investigators looked into claims that two women were denied loans because of the color of their skin.

The commentary recorded on tape is outrageous. Women hoping to get loans to start a business were told their race was a deal breaker.

Patricia Crawford has a big family to support. She was hoping to jump-start her truck hauling company, but her plan hit a roadblock.

Lekita Phillips dreams of opening a real estate business, but she too encountered a problem when she tried to take out a loan.

Both women went to Grameen America in Indianapolis.

The global institution caters to offering loans to women to create businesses locally and worldwide. But apparently, an employee at the local branch had no interest in helping African-Americans.

The women were so disgusted that they recorded their phone conversation.

"So because I'm African-American I can't get a loan right now?" one of the women asked.

"Yeah, not right now," the employee said on tape.
The women went to the bank and confronted the employee with the recordings. In writing, he offered them a loan for $10,000 if the video and other evidence were deleted.

Grameen America's president told the Call 6 Investigators the junior employee was fired because he misrepresented their lending policies.

While Crawford was hurt, she said she will keep on trucking with her vision of owning a fleet of semis.

The Central Indiana Community Foundation, which works with many local nonprofits, was integral in bringing Grameen America to Indianapolis.

CICF officials said they were shocked to learn of the incident and have suspended funding to Grameen America. They also demanded that Grameen America take immediate actions regarding the matter.

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