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Washington Man Wrongfully Arrested For Check Fraud At Chase Bank from ABC News

#1 User is offline   Mr_Jet Icon

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 03:15 PM

Quote

By RESHMA KIRPALANI and CHRISTINA NG
July 9, 2011


On June 24, 2010, Ikenna Njoku walked into an Auburn, Wash., branch of Chase Bank intending to cash a $8,463 Chase cashier's check he'd brought in the day before.

Instead, members of the Auburn Police Department handcuffed Njoku and threw him in jail, where he sat for the next four days. Chase claimed Njoku had tried to cash a fraudulent check. Twenty-four hours later, Chase realized it had made an error.

"I was really embarrassed. I got put under arrest in front of a lot of people," Njoku said.

A year ago, the 28-year-old former construction worker had been thrilled to buy his first home, and qualified for the first-time home buyer tax rebate. According to a letter Njoku's lawyers wrote to Chase Bank, the Internal Revenue Service had wired more than $9,000 into Njoku's account. Chase deducted $600 to recoup the amount it was allegedly owed for Njoku's overdrafts and mailed Njoku the balance -- $8,463.21 -- in a cashier's check.

When Njoku went to Chase Bank to cash the check, he presented two forms of ID. Njoku said the teller was rude. "She looked me up and down and asked me a series of questions, like where I got the check and what I did for a living."

According to Matthew Knopp, one of Njoku's attorneys, the teller told Njoku that she could not cash the check immediately. When Njoku returned the next day, Chase refused to honor the check and instead had the Auburn Police Department arrest Njoku and haul him off to King County Jail.

"At bottom, what Chase did was wrong," Knopp said. "They treated him in a way that no one wants to be treated or deserves to be treated."

Cmdr. Mike Hirman said that a Chase representative had left a voicemail message for a Police Department detective June 25, a Friday, saying that the check was valid and that it had made a mistake.

"This means there was no longer a probable cause for arrest, and Ikenna should have been released from jail," Hirman said.

But the detective was not in that day, and the Police Department did not hear Chase's message until Monday.

"It was tough sitting in jail for so long," Njoku said. "Chase is the company that's responsible. People go to cash checks every day and not every time do people get thrown in jail."

Hirman said, "The lawyers think Chase could have tried harder to get him out, like calling 911 to speak to someone or following up."

During his four-day jail stint, Njoku's favorite Infinity I30, which he'd parked in the bank's lot, was impounded. Without sufficient funds to retrieve it and pay the fees, the car was auctioned off.

A year later, Njoku is still without a car.

According to his lawyers, without a vehicle, Njoku couldn't get to work, and so he lost his job too.

Njoku's attorneys have demanded that Chase make "full and fair financial compensation" to their client.

"He lost a lot, and hopefully they will simply do the right thing," Knopp said.

Tom Kelly of Chase Media Relations said in a statement to ABCNews.com, "This is a very unfortunate and unusual situation. We apologize to Mr. Njoku and deeply regret what happened to him. We are working quickly to understand all the details so we can reach a fair resolution."

The original check had been seized as evidence during Njoku's arrest and not returned to him until five weeks later -- a major point of contention for Njoku's lawyers who said that Chase should have recognized its mistake and reissued their client a new check immediately.

"I'm hoping that their policy changes," Njoku said, "and this doesn't happen to anyone else."

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View PostFlyHiJets, on 01 June 2013 - 08:35 PM, said:

You're the scumbag that thinks everyone should kiss the as$es of a bunch of criminals but I'm a dumbass. Yeah okay douchebag. Go give some illegal wetback or Revis another blowjob. But then again.....don't you live in an entirely different country but yet think you can tell us how to live? Go fvck yourself little boy. You're likely still living with mommy & daddy. Pu$$y.


View Postazjetfan, on 02 July 2014 - 03:36 PM, said:

There are a few things I have realized about Mr. Jet over a few topics.

1) He is a racist. By constantly using race as a battling tool.
2) He is an extreme Liberal. If you are on either extreme you are probabaly more wrong than right.
3) He is one of those people who will never admit fault, error or defeat.
4)His life sucks and he takes it out on people who don't share in his views.
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#2 User is offline   azjetfan Icon

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 04:47 PM

Wow! This blows my mind. Another reason to stay away from the monster banks. They are too big to care. The 2 forms of Id, questions (hopefully appropriate) and one day holding are all legit. But the rudeness Jail and loss of anything sucks. He will recoupe it all and be a rich man when it is all over. Big black eye for Chase
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#3 User is offline   SecondHandJets Icon

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 06:25 PM

That's crazy. I hate banks. I just deposited a check on July 19th and it won't clear until July 28th. Having worked in a bank while I was in college, I demanded to speak to a manager (its nothing for a bank to determine if a particular check is going to be funded by the originator bank, at most it will take 3 business days if the bank is in a different country). The routing numbers on the check (the ones on the far left before the account number) tell the bank where the other bank is. Government checks have a routing number of 0000, which means that the money is good. Long story short, the manager basically admitted that checks over a certain amount get held extra long, as a "precaution". I pressed on, because you don't need extra time to verify if an amount is in the account, it's either there or it's not. Its now a policy of these assholes to HOLD YOUR MONEY extra long so they can make money by lending it in the short run. How fucked up is that? After a 30 minute meeting with the manager which basically was him lying to me and me telling him "You're lying, that's not how you work" he agreed to clear half my check. LOL. So now, half the money is held an extra week as a precaution that the full check might bounce. f***ing assholes.

I hope that Chase will be writing this dude a much larger cashiers check in the near future.
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#4 User is offline   azjetfan Icon

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 08:31 PM

View PostSecondHandJets, on 21 July 2011 - 06:25 PM, said:

That's crazy. I hate banks. I just deposited a check on July 19th and it won't clear until July 28th. Having worked in a bank while I was in college, I demanded to speak to a manager (its nothing for a bank to determine if a particular check is going to be funded by the originator bank, at most it will take 3 business days if the bank is in a different country). The routing numbers on the check (the ones on the far left before the account number) tell the bank where the other bank is. Government checks have a routing number of 0000, which means that the money is good. Long story short, the manager basically admitted that checks over a certain amount get held extra long, as a "precaution".


I hope that Chase will be writing this dude a much larger cashiers check in the near future.
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The Check21 regulation was designed to stop this. Banks can determine now if a check is valid from an account and funds standpoint within a day. There reasoning to hold longer is usually either the account holder has mishandled the acount (overdrafts fraud activity ect...)and/or they think there is a high risk of loss (fraud check). The next day funds availibility was increased to $200 recently. Keep in mind checks are easy to duplicate. You can go to Office max and make as many checks as you want tonight with account numbers from any check you have recieved.


View PostSecondHandJets, on 21 July 2011 - 06:25 PM, said:

Its now a policy of these assholes to HOLD YOUR MONEY extra long so they can make money by lending it in the short run. How fucked up is that? After a 30 minute meeting with the manager which basically was him lying to me and me telling him "You're lying, that's not how you work" he agreed to clear half my check. LOL. So now, half the money is held an extra week as a precaution that the full check might bounce. f***ing assholes.


More than likely thats not the case unless the bank is in bad shape and needs to raise capital.Usually when banks need to raise capital they bump there CD rates. This brings in alot of hot money but gives the bank what they need for a term they can dictate. Most banks have more capital than loans right now and would love to loose some of the "Hot Money" or non secured. The FDIC has rased the premiums this year so banks want to limit that expense. Keep in mind Branch managers have been loosing the power to make decisions like this. With all the technoligy geared towards frauding banks they are taking less risks. I assume you are banking at a Wells Fargo (Wachovia) from what you are saying. I did my time at Wells and it is a horrid bank with huge sales integrity issues. They were just fined 135 million dollars for sales issues. I would suggest finding a small locally owned bank or Credit union. Sounds like the bank you use sucks.

View PostSecondHandJets, on 21 July 2011 - 06:25 PM, said:

I hope that Chase will be writing this dude a much larger cashiers check in the near future..


They will be writing a huge check.
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#5 User is offline   SecondHandJets Icon

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:08 PM

When I worked at a bank, the manager had the option of how many days to hold the check and I believe they still do since the routing number needs to be manually entered into the system to determine the "hold" in the first place. This account is with Capital One.
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#6 User is offline   azjetfan Icon

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 10:09 PM

View PostSecondHandJets, on 21 July 2011 - 09:08 PM, said:

When I worked at a bank, the manager had the option of how many days to hold the check and I believe they still do since the routing number needs to be manually entered into the system to determine the "hold" in the first place. This account is with Capital One.

The routing # does Dictate the bank it is drawn from but at the time of deposit the banks are only verifying the # is valid. The check has to go through a clearing house (Federal reserve) then funds are moved. Banks do not directly talk to each other and the physical check no longer goes back to the original bank. The problem is all the fraud. If you dont have matching funds or a big relationship with the bank they will not want to take a chance. I bet if you went in tommorow and asked them to see if they recieved funds they could release the hold. They will have to call there processor. At the end of the day big banks are the wrong place to be. I moved to a regional bank for work and personal and have not looked back. The bank is big enough to have all the cool online and mobile products but small enough to speak to people that can make things happen.
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#7 User is offline   gmany3k Icon

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:16 PM

I hope the lawyer goes after the people who auction off his car I would call it stealing which is what this whole issue of banking is stealing from the backs of the people to enslave them into debt .
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#8 User is offline   azjetfan Icon

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 07:12 PM

View Postgmany3k, on 22 July 2011 - 05:16 PM, said:

I hope the lawyer goes after the people who auction off his car I would call it stealing which is what this whole issue of banking is stealing from the backs of the people to enslave them into debt .


Its not fair to put all the banks in that boat(if that is what you are saying). It really is just the big banks that have these ethics problems. There are still some good banks out there.
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