Thousands left in the red after payroll company shuts down abruptly

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A payroll company abruptly shut down, leaving thousands of people out of a paycheck nationwide last week. The fiasco caused many employees to see negative balances in their bank accounts, including in the Tampa Bay area. 

A variety of companies were hit, ranging from the medical field to cleaning companies and gyms. 

For Lakeland resident Tiffany Bell, she noticed something was off Thursday when she went in to work.

"It's like nobody understands it. None of this makes sense to anybody. Even the banks weren't prepared for what they got hit with," said Bell.

Bell is one of thousands of people who had direct deposits reversed not once but twice last week.

The processing company, MyPayrollHR out of New York, is facing calls for an investigation by the governor of New York and others after it abruptly shut down, leaving workers and employers to fend for themselves.

Cachet Financial Services of California contracted with MyPayrollHR to help get the money they collected from employers to the employees. However, Cachet's attorney said this time around, they never got the employers money.

"The money didn't come to us. It went into a different account that was under the control of MyPayrollHR at their bank which is called Pioneer Bank," said Wendy Slavkin, the Cachet FS general counsel.

Slavkin said Cachet is the intermediary in the payroll process, and it is now out of $26 million that Slavkin said MyPayrollHR owes them. Cachet contacted the banks to give the money back to the employees, Slavkin.

"For our side of it, we've all gotten reimbursed for it," said Bell about her employer.

However, not all employees are having luck getting their money back.

A Tampa employee rights attorney says if that's the case, talk to your employer.

"The employees are going to look up to the employer, and the employer is going to look to the payroll company," said Matt Fenton, of Wenzel Fenton and Cabassa. "The employer might also be looking to the state or federal authorities for assistance in getting their funds back."

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody's office says it has received one complaint about the payroll situation as of Tuesday. Slavkin said the FBI and U.S. Attorney General in New York are investigating MyPayrollHR and working to track down its owner, and Cachet plans to file a lawsuit against the payroll company.