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Man falsely arrested, jailed for trying to cash check at Chase bank

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: Chase bank, check cashing, health news

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(NaturalNews) Not even two years after American taxpayers' money was illegitimately used to bail out a handful of behemoth banks, JPMorgan Chase, one such bailout recipients, is responsible for getting an innocent man arrested and jailed, and also causing him to lose his job and his car -- and it has been more than a year since the incident and Chase has yet to properly resolve the incident by at least reimbursing the victim.

The incident began after a teller at a Chase bank branch in Auburn, Wash., falsely accused 28-year-old Ikenna Njoku of trying to deposit a check that the bank itself had issued him as part of the first-time home buyer rebate plan. For some reason the teller became suspicious that the check was false, and proceeded to confiscate Njoku's driver license and credit card.

When he returned the next day at the instruction of Chase customer service, he was greeted by Auburn police who took him into custody on charges of forgery. And no proper investigation into the allegations prior to the arrest had taken place as they should have, which makes the Auburn Police Department (APD) equally as responsible for the error.

"They just threw me in jail; they called the police and said this guy has a fraudulent check," said Njoku to reporters. "I was like 'you're making a mistake, you're making a mistake, don't take me to jail, I got work tomorrow. I can't afford to miss work.'"

But the officers refused to listen, and instead left Njoku in a jail cell for five days after failing to check a message that was left the day after the arrest by Chase Special Investigations, notifying APD about the error. During this time Njoku was fired from his construction job for not showing up, and his car was towed from the Chase parking lot and subsequently sold at an auction.

"It's one thing to make a mistake," said Felix Luna, Njoku's lawyer. "It's 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."

Chase has since apologized to Njoku, but there is no indication that he will be reimbursed by the bank for losing his job and his car. It is also unclear whether or not APD will be held responsible for failing to follow protocol by arresting Njoku without first investigating the situation.

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