Skip to comments.Jailed for cashing Chase check at Chase bank
Posted on 07/07/2011 12:17:33 PM PDT by The Magical Mischief Tour
AUBURN, Wash. - Buying his own home was a big accomplishment for construction worker, Ikenna Njoku, of Auburn. Hes only 28 years old. I was really excited. For the first time, I actually got to buy a lawn mower, mow my lawn and everything, said Njoku.
Njoku qualified for the first time home buyer rebate on his tax return.
"It was really important, I had a vehicle I was looking on paying off," said. Njoku. And it wasnt just any vehicle. It was a 2001 Infinity I-30, silver just like my favorite car, he said.
Njoku signed up to have the rebate deposited directly into his Chase Bank account. But when the IRS rebate arrived, there was a problem. Chase had closed Njokus account because of overdrawn checks in the past. The bank deducted $600 to cover what he owed them and mailed him a cashiers check for the difference--$8,463.21.
But when Njoku showed up at the Chase branch near his house intending to cash the check, he was in for a nasty surprise.
The check had Njokus name and address on it and was issued by JP Morgan Chase. But the Chase Customer Banker who handles large checks at the Auburn branch was immediately suspicious.
I was embarrassed, Njoku said. She asked me what I did for a living. Asked me where I got the check from, looked me up and downlike you just bought a house in Auburn, really? She didnt believe that, he said.
The Customer Banker said the check looked fake, so she took it, along with Njokus driver license and credit card, and called Bank Support.
After waiting for about 15 minutes, Njoku said he got impatient and told Chase he was leaving to do an important errand. By the time he got back, the bank was closed. Njoku said he called customer service and asked them what he should do. He says they told him to go back to the bank the next day to get his money.
But when Njoku arrived, it wasnt the money that was waiting for him.
They just threw me in jail; they called the police and said this guy has a fraudulent check, Njoku said.
Auburn police arrested him for forgery - a felony crime.
I was like - youre making a mistake, youre making a mistake, dont take me to jail, I got work tomorrow. I cant afford to miss work, he said.
Njoku was taken to jail on June 24, 2010, which was a Thursday. The next day, Chase Special Investigations, realized it was a mistake. The check was legitimate. The Investigator called Auburn Police and left a message with the detective handling the case, but it was her day off. So Njoku stayed in jail for the entire weekend. Finally, on Monday, he was released.
Auburn Police Commander Dave Colglazier said Chase could have done a lot more to let them know theyd locked up an innocent man.
We do have a main line that comes into our front office, he said. There are ways to reach someone 24/7 at a police department.
For Njoku, going to jail for five days meant a lot more than just losing his freedom. He said the entire time he was just stressed out trying to figure out what was going on with my vehicle. I love my vehicle, he said.
Njokus car had been towed from the bank parking lot and his check seized as evidence.
I had to wait a couple of weeks, he said, and my car got sold, auctioned off."
Njoku says he didnt have the money to pay the impound fees and fines to get his car back before it was sold. He said he also lost his job because he didnt show up for work while he was in jail.
After all of that, Njoku said he never heard a word from Chase.
They havent even sent me a letter or apologized, he said. Its been a year weve been trying to contact these guys.
Finally, A Seattle attorney offered to help. Last week, Felix Luna sent Chase a scathing letter. Read the attorneys' letter to Chase
Its one thing to make a mistake, Luna said. Its one thing to make multiple errors of judgment like Chase has made and then, once you realize that your error has caused such harm to somebody else, to just ignore it for a year. I think he deserved better. I think all their customers do.
Like Njoku, KING 5 had a difficult time getting answers from Chase. A week after first contacting them, they sent a two line e-mail.
"We received the letter and are reviewing the situation. We'll be reaching out to the customer," wrote Darcy Donoahoe-Wilmot, from Chase Media Relations.
Njoku said that even after he got out of jail, he said was confused and upset. "For a month, two months, I was just down and depressed," he said.
Hes still happy he bought his house, but sad that his experience with his own bank was so humiliating.
They treated me like a criminal, he said.
I’m as anti-lawyer as anyone.
But, methinks this fellow should sue...big time!
Time to lawyer up and sue the everliving piss outta all involved in this mans unlawful arrest. The bank, the tellers who made the fraud call on the check, the police,,, everyone....
They must have thought the guy was named “Washington Mutual”. I would say much more about chase, but I would hear from their lawyers. Watch it!
Chase is gonna be sorry they lost his business when he gets his money from his uncle the Nigerian Finance Minister.
More like Uncle Chase
I think Chase may be taking some of that mortgage bill away. If not, i hope he gets the bank staff involved a free three day weekend in jail for their part of this.
Something really smells.
Well, sounds like he did bounce some checks in the past.
On general principles, I don’t like lawsuits. But in this gentleman’s case, I make an exception.
IMHO, if he files suit, takes in front of a jury, and said jury award his Fifteen Gazillion Bajillion Dollars, I’m all for it.
Or, better yet, enough money to buy Chase Bank. Vengeance is a dish best served cold (Old Klingon Proverb).
But don't worry -- our financial system is sound as a dollar!!
A year? Ain’t very bright, is he, if he’s just now thought... Hey, I should talk to a lawyer...
It would be amusing if Chase ends up using an argument that the man has no standing as an illegal alien. I’ve seen the way they make money off of illegals, so if someone at the bank saw his name and made an assumption...
More like Uncle Chase
You got that right! They are so connected with this administration that every time a staffer opens their mouth, a little Chase runs down their chin from the inability for them to swallow fast enough.
Advice for Mr. Njoku:
When you get your big settlement check from Chase, go to a different bank to cash it.
So? Overdrawing your account doesn't excuse this sort of treatment, especially since the questioned check was generated by the very bank that he was trying to cash it at.
Take it to the same bank, same teller, and fill out one deposit slip for today, and offer them a mulligan. Do it on a tuesday and pray it’s a two-fer.
Just another ‘dead beat’ trying to extort money from a poor put upon bank. Maybe they can get him locked up again but this time under the jail so they won’t have to deal with him.
Didn’t he have a friend at Chase? I thought everybody has a friend at Chase.
that is a scary thought
That’s pretty funny.
Poor guy fell for the Kenyan scam letter:
Dear Ikenna Njoku,
I am a high ranking official of the United States and am looking for individuals to help me move money out of the U.S. Treasury and send it to people like yourself, seeking a better life. In order to participate in this plan, I need you to send me your bank account number and I will deposit the amount of $8,463.21 in your checking account, without any risk to yourself, whatsoever.
I hope to hear from you urgently, because Republican legislators are trying to close down this plan before I completely bankrupt the entire country. Time is of the essence. Answer immediately.
Barack Hussein Obama
Resident of the United States
A democrat in Dallas got busted a while back for identifying himself as Roadway Express and trying to cash a check made out to the same. lol
Note the timing. What’s the statute of limitations for civil actions in Washington? If it’s one year, I suspect a strong letter and a media campaign (as is obviously going on) is probably the only approach that’d be effective.
If he’s still within the Washington statute, that “letter” was probably a demand letter. The fact that he got a response from their PR department instead of the legal department makes me think the first situation’s probably it. In that case, they’ll most likely pay him to go away.
Loss of my job, false imprisonment, impounding my car, I would have been in a lawyer’s office on Monday, preferably the most vicious, unethical shark in town, I’m talking a John Edwards clone.
Something doesn’t make sense. His account was closed for bad checks? Yet they only took $600 to cover checks and there was still over $8000 in the account. Doesn’t sound overdrawn to me. If his account was back in the black, it doesn’t follow that they’d bother to close the account.
banks really are in teh stone age.
SUE THE BACHELOR’S CHILDREN ! ! ! ! !
I didn’t know that Kafka was an American.
This is the incompetence that I expect from Chase. Yes, I am a former Chase customer. First they acquired Texas Commerce Bank, which was a decent outfit, and they left it alone. But after a while they had to get rid of the local identity, and place it under the Chase identity. Eventually the whole company was evident as a Charlie Foxtrot. Chase started sending statements to an address I had lived six years previously and refused to correct the situation.
This person’s experience is far worse than mine. He should get the most vicious shark lawyer he can find.
It's three years. Lawyer is taking a "be nice approach" in getting a settlement. When Chase blows it off, the real lawsuit will begin and the lawyer can tell a jury that his client tried to be reasonable and Chase just ignored a little guy. What better way than that to get a jury to make a big award?
You just made me spit out my water from laughing, LOL.
It sounds like he was in the hole $600 when the bank closed his account. And then when his automatic deposit tax refund showed up they took the $600 they were owed and sent him a cashiers check for the what was left.
I closed a checking account at Jay Pee Morgan /Taxpayer / Chase. I was treated like a p.o.s.
Fraud 3yr, libel or slander 2yr.
Banks work hard to get you to bounce checks. They cover them for a $25 to $50 charge. It’s just about the most profitable line of business in a bank. One ATM withdraw which will give you the money you asked for even if it’s not there, will domino into a $500 bill in a hurry if you forgot an autodraft for your car insurance payment hits your account. The banks will even putt an autodraft into limbo if it gives them the contractual opportunity to structure your debits to hit your account in just the right order to maximize their fees. They have a computer software program to do just that.
Every one on this forum understands that bankers are federal government snoops right? This is a great overview:
This banker was doing a commendable job.
More and more industries and occupations now have have required government snooping and reporting requirements. But I am sure many on this forum subscribe to the “if you didn’t do anything wrong you don’t have to worry” philosophy.
This could have been drug money right? It could have helped save someone from addiction and crime.
Are you serious?!?!?
Are you seriously this stupid?!?!?
These bankers and the police had a man jailed for 5 days, he lost his job and his car and all over a check that WAS NOT FRAUDULENT or FAKE...
I would also play the race card if I was this guy (seriously).
I hope he gets a civil rights lawsuit out of it. His last name is the winning color.
“This banker was doing a commendable job.”
The banker did a hideous job of doing their job.
[ Every one on this forum understands that bankers are federal government snoops right? This is a great overview:
This banker was doing a commendable job.
More and more industries and occupations now have have required government snooping and reporting requirements. But I am sure many on this forum subscribe to the if you didnt do anything wrong you dont have to worry philosophy.
This could have been drug money right? It could have helped save someone from addiction and crime. ]
Holding too much cash on you can be considered a “crime”, so if you happen to have several ounces of Gold on you, you are a defacto criminal!
Lets see, 28 years old, $9000.00 + IRS refund?
I definitely have to change my tax preparer.
Hell for half my life 9000 was considered a decent wage and this construction worker in the state of Washington is getting that much in a refund????
I am going along with the “Nigerian Internet People” angle on this story.
Has the IRS weighed in saying this is/was a true story?
My cynicism really is kicking in on this entire story.
Also, I can’t really see someone leaving an $8300 check, his credit card AND drivers license at the bank then leaving (apparently) just before closing time.
Something very fishy here.....
[ Banks work hard to get you to bounce checks. They cover them for a $25 to $50 charge. Its just about the most profitable line of business in a bank. One ATM withdraw which will give you the money you asked for even if its not there, will domino into a $500 bill in a hurry if you forgot an autodraft for your car insurance payment hits your account. The banks will even putt an autodraft into limbo if it gives them the contractual opportunity to structure your debits to hit your account in just the right order to maximize their fees. They have a computer software program to do just that. ]
Yup! If you have the following transactions to be processed in one day:
Starting Balance - $300.00
withdraw 50.00 - 10:00AM
withdraw 120.00 - 11:30AM
deposit 1,200.00 - 1:00PM
withdraw 500.00 - 4:00PM
withdraw 5.00 - 6:00pm
The will process them in this order:
withdraw - 500.00
fee - 25.00
withdraw - 5.00
fee - 25.00
withdraw - 50.00
fee - 25.00
withdraw - 120.00
fee - 25.00
Minus Fees (100)
Ending Balance $725.00
If your bank does this, time to find another bank.
They should do the processing in chronological order, but some have software that is TUNED for maximum fees.
It is immoral and it is wrong, and they say the financial system is “solid” a lot of banks will happily scam people who failed basic economics class in high school.
Someone once asked me once why I have “Checking plus” which is a line of credit that only charges a minor daily interest rate for any over drafts. Well I would rather pay $1.25 in interest for three days on 100 bucks of overdraft than $300.00 in fees because I had an emergency because I got their “free checking” which doesn’t have an over draft account.
Scary story. A cascade of incompetence, beginning and ending with the bank and an idiot teller. Like most Freepers, had this horror happened to me, I would have been hopping mad but instead of ranting would have immediately went to a barracuda-type attorneys office and demanded they help me sue Chase. Sue the police department, maybe, but they thought they had sufficient reason to hold the man, although they didn’t try very hard to learn the facts. Anyway, Chase bank is the real culprit here. I suspect some racial profiling was involved. Plus, as a construction worker, if the victim was dressed in his work clothes he probably didn’t look prosperous enough to have an $8,000-something check. Not that it should have mattered. Of course, in this situation, most people would have asked to see the manager and not left the bank until it was cleared up and they had their money. Still, he was treated badly and illegally. Chase sucks. I hope this fellow sues and collects, big. He deserves it.