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Customer tries to cash bank check, ends up in jail (1313 hits)

Chase issues apology for unfounded suspicions over its own cashier's check
For 28-year-old Ikenna Njoku, what should have been the simple act of cashing a check turned into four days in jail and the loss of his car and job.

A year ago Njoku, a construction worker, had just purchased his first home and qualified for a federal rebate for first-time home buyers on his tax return.

He says he requested to have the rebate deposited directly into his Chase bank account in Auburn, Wash., but when the IRS rebate arrived, he found out that Chase had closed his account because of overdrawn checks. The bank deducted $600 to cover what he owed and mailed Njoku a cashier's check of $8,463.21 to make up the difference.

When Njoku arrived at the bank to cash the Chase check, he says the teller immediately became suspicious.

“When I walked in, the teller looked me up and down and asked if I worked for Chase,” he said. “She asked me questions like where did I get the check from. I sat there for half an hour while they researched the check.”

Njoku got impatient and said he would run an errand and return.

When he returned the bank was closed, so he says he called Chase's customer service, who told him to return the next day. But when he did, bank officials insisted the check was fake. The police soon arrived to arrest Njoku on forgery charges. Njoku was held in jail four nights, even though Chase called the Auburn police detective handling the case and left a message saying the arrest was a mistake, according to Njoku's lawyer. But it was that detective's day off, so Njoku stayed in jail through the weekend.

"He had two forms of valid ID, a check issued by Chase, he walked in there during normal business hours. I don't see any valid basis for suspicion in the first place," said Felix Luna, Njoku’s lawyer. The Seattle attorney took on Njoku’s case about two months ago. The story was reported this week by KING 5 News.

Njoku, who was born in Seattle and whose family is from Nigeria, says he was extremely embarrassed by the situation.

Njoku’s car, which he drove to the bank the day he was arrested, was towed and ultimately auctioned off because he couldn't pay the impound fees to get it back. Because he needed the car to get to his job, he lost the temporary construction job he had as well. Now Njoku uses his mother's car and gets construction work wherever he can find it.

Luna, who has not yet filed any litigation, said he believes the bank may have violated federal laws prohibiting discrimination in banking transactions based on race or presumed national origin.

Even after admitting its mistake, the bank did not immediately reissue another cashier's check to Njoku or give him the more than $8,000 they were retaining, Luna said. It took about a month before Njoku received the money after the Auburn police department released the original cashier's check to him.

Despite repeated efforts to contact Chase, Njoku and his lawyer said they heard from the bank for the first time this week, more than a year after the June 2010 event. Luna said a Chase lawyer contacted him Wednesday saying he would look into the case and be in touch.

Soon after the story aired on KING 5 news this week, a Chase spokeswoman issued an apology to Njoku, the station reported. That would mark the first and only apology he has received.

"This is a very unfortunate and unusual situation," Darcy Donahoe-Wilmot of Chase wrote to KING 5. "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."

A manager at the Chase branch in Auburn declined further comment to

Njoku now holds an account with Wells Fargo instead. He said he just wants Chase bank to fix the way they do things.

“It shouldn’t take them a day and a half to research a check,” he said.
Posted By: anita moore
Friday, July 8th 2011 at 6:21PM
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This has got to be one of AMERICA'S DUMBEST CRIMINALS...LOL
Friday, July 8th 2011 at 6:44PM
Siebra Muhammad
But sis, he did nothing wrong. He was considered like a lot blacks are that are not dressed to the nines when entering a bank to be doing something illegal. It was his money drawn on their bank. The bank teller became suspicious when she saw his account closed. I can imagine now what she was saying, where this so and so get this much money and he can't even keep his account open. This situation should be brought to light and not just be a local case because discrimination is rampant and he spent time in jail to boot, lost his job and got his car comfiscated. I'm just too through with our so called justice system. 9 times out of 10, it doesn't work to our advantage. (Wrong Skin Color)
Friday, July 8th 2011 at 7:23PM
anita moore
You are so right sis. I bet this won't see the light of day unless the brother sues for a lot of cash, then it will become big news. This story was tucked away and reported by MSNBC, but not on their local channel and I sure didn't see it on TV, not yet anyway. I can't believe it took a year for the bank to even apologize. I guess they figured it wasn't going anywhere, but I think they messed with the wrong person this time. An embarrassed man ain't nothing to mess with! Can't wait to see how the story ends! Peace and Blessings!
Friday, July 8th 2011 at 8:47PM
anita moore
@Sis Irma, so right. I find things online from msnbc, not on their actual network. Just shows they are trying to stay on top of all news even if they can't report everything.
@Brotha Jake, Greeting! I agree and disagree. I wouldn't go so far to say they are the enemy, even though those are the teachings I've been taught. I would say they (meaning other nationalities, look out for themselves before giving a little of the leftovers to others. That's their right. But we on the other hand shouldn't stand for it and as you say find a way to come together. I do believe some of us are coming together and my hopes and prayers will be that I see our people stand for something and not fall for anything before I leave this planet, because again as you've said our history dictates that this will be the only way that we as a people will get to the promised Lane, but it is obtainable. I see it everyday in the faces of my beautiful brown faces that I come into contact with. "BrotherHood" What good is this if you can't embrace you're own!
Saturday, July 9th 2011 at 10:26AM
anita moore
@Brotha Saint, You know I've got nothing but respect for you and on your last posting I concur. You've made a most valid point and I've had to think deep on this one. I must admit lately I've only come into contact with others not like me, in my business settings. I've never been one to go deep with any other than my own, probably due to my past religious beliefs and upbringing etc. I must admit the few situations that have presented themselves to me in the past with others not like myself have more time than most been under negative situations except in college. Wow that's an eye opener.
I can't wait for the democratic office to open in my area because this year I have elected to be a part of the process. I can't wait to see how my interactions with others will turn out. My question is? Is it right that we choose to be surrounded by our own? Do we have an obligation to try to learn others? For me, I'm just more comfortable surrounded by my own, but does that suggest I'm have self imposed prejudicial views even though I don't harbor hate in my heart, I just love my own people so deeply. Oops this is the making of a good topic of discussion.
@ Jake - You made this statement "It suggests that we are devoid of our heritage and knowledge of the commandments, laws, and statutes given to Israel by the Most High. We have been in a state of confusion because of our disobedience to the commandments from the Most High. One of those commandments is never to marry or mingle with the other nations. I have listed the reference scriptures in the past, therefore it's not worth repeating".

This statement I most definitely concur with you, but again we have to ask ourselves to reasons. Have we been so brainwashed to think that we need to come together and give up our heritage or is this self imposed, or even is it right?
I'm trying to view this from all points of view. For one I grew up in a household with a father who was darn near lynched in the south. He has the gunshot wounds and burns to prove it.
@Sis Irma, I also agree with you to a point. Probably a first. We are responsible for our own actions, but where do those actions come from. Statistics show we are a product of our environment and upbringing. What we've been taught plays out our life in some form or fashion. Only some overcome the negative struggles.

(Great quote by the way, but how to give that understanding to all our young brothers and sisters of this new generation, teaching them to overcome and letting them know they are beautiful and came from greatness.

You guys have presented a complex topic of conversation and this posting has taken on a life of its own. Great thinking minds present great views!

Peace & Blessings!
Sunday, July 10th 2011 at 12:46PM
anita moore
Anita, hopefully skin color has nothing to do with the best advice an attorney can give and everyday common sense should automacitally kick in if and when something happens to anyone...

and this is this was against you, period and that bank has more attorneys specializing in makeing you wrong for doing right so, because they are not in business to loose money...make sure you make your first stop after getting out of jail and before speaking to anyone especially the court of public opinion is get an attorney!!!!!!!!

Better yet an attorney taht specializes in civil rights law. lol (smile)
Thursday, April 10th 2014 at 6:47PM
Great post Anita, because I am sure more of this never reaches the public at large in the first place. (smile)
Thursday, April 10th 2014 at 6:47PM
MSNBC is the greatest fo rreporting things related to our community...and by the way did you see my just reproted blog on something else the may not bee seen any place but MSNBC as they will not repeat any moer after 7pm here and never over the weekend...

just more of them rubbing it in to FOX taht Van Jones was actually in a way restricted from doing his life's work while at the White house but now he is in his natural (smile)

Fox how much better off they were with Jones in teh "whiehouse and Keith Olbermann on MSNBC rather than O'Donnell. (otfl) (smile)
Thursday, April 10th 2014 at 6:47PM
@Jake may "I" just add a little to you on what Anita just said,...

"I" do believe if you would make an effort to be able to accept that like you have the: human ,civil, moral and legal rights to say , "DIFFERENT MEANS DEFICIENT" then those like me and Anita should have the same rights to disagree with you...

would be more acceptable or at least worth thinking about. (smile)
Thursday, April 10th 2014 at 6:47PM

Thursday, April 10th 2014 at 6:47PM
"I" am the only one responsiable for my own actions, this is because "I" claim all that is me body and my unlimited powers to be the best person "I" can be is solely on me. or in other words...I love me because I refuse to accept any teachings that I am l-e-s-s than so much so "I" must have someone, thing, place or anything as long as I leave me out of my own life to determine my self -worth...

For, me this logic does not compute no matter how I try to put the blame on others I have been taught are "DIFFERENT THEREFORE DEFICIENT" AND CERTAINLY NOT WHILE I AM DEMANDING, EXPECTING JUST THE OPPOSIT FROM ALL OTHERS...(SMILE)

Thursday, April 10th 2014 at 6:47PM
@Anita may I try to help you with these few things "I" learned in college as well as in life as my teacher and the main thing I so depend on , "every day common sense that we see as natural in nature who has set the needed balance as in life is a part of death and deathis a part of life...

1. THE FIRST LAW OF NATURE IS TO SURVIVE...AND THE WAY THAT THE NATURAL WORLD DOES THIS IS BY PROTECTING THEIR OWN GENE POOL...SOMETHING LIKE SKIN COLOR, RACE, PROTECTING OUR OWN CHILDREN BY ANY MEANS NECCESSARY. (S-M-I-L-E) (it is only when we allow tis to get our of control and be used as a deadly weapon put to use on mind as well as body that is the problem).


again, great blog my sister in spirit...
Thursday, April 10th 2014 at 6:47PM
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