If you can’t trust your bank, whom can you trust? Part 2

By Burl Barer

Good news for me: Chase bank finally gave me back the money stolen from me in May, 2019 by  the mysterious Paul Cape. Why this sudden alteration in attitude after denying my claim four times?  Well, simple, actually. I took my complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a government agency that grabs banks by the throat and shakes them until they cough up the truth and the cash.  Chase has no fear of their clients, but they do get a bit skittish around government investigators, even if the government is Turkish. Yes, Turkish.  

JP Morgan shared a little investment advice that contributed to Turkish money taking an ignominious slide. That alleged interference in international financial markets  triggered further investigation into JP Morgan’s behavior.

Uh-oh. 

The history of JPMorgan Chase is full of financial crimes and punishment: In October 2018, the U.S. Treasury imposed a $5.3 billion fine in a settlement with JPMorgan Chase for the violation of Cuban Assets Control Regulations.  There were also sanctions for illegal dealing with Iran and 87 sanctions regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I’m sure the teller at your local branch doesn’t have a nuclear device in her till. 

Drugs? The U.S. Treasury found the bank also violated sanctions on narcotics. There probably were not bags of smack and blow in the vault, but perhaps tons of money laundering?

You would think all these fines in the billions of dollars might convince JP Morgan Chase to stop playing international gangster, but your thinking would be faulty.  All these fines do not come close to the amount of profit made on these illegal and immoral deals. And, by the same faulty reasoning, one would think that with billions of dollars in profit from alleged criminal activities, JP Morgan Chase wouldn’t bother cheating me out of $747 + hundreds in bank fees resulting from bank fraud committed on my account by Mr. Paul Cape.  Apparently, like the tale of the scorpion and the frog, it is simply the nature of JP Morgan Chase to do the wrong thing – except when the government starts sniffing around.  

“We aim to give exceptional service,” wrote Chase’s Executive Office. “we have reviewed your claim and approved it.”  They issued me full credit for the stolen amount plus refunded the bank fees from May 2019. Amazing that they denied the claim four times before they suddenly saw the light – the light being a Federal investigation.  

JP Morgan Chase’s record of horrific misconduct internationally is no reflection on the kind  folks at your local Chase branch – they are kind honest, and, well innocent of wrongdoing. It’s the same with the folks at your Wells Fargo branch and your BofA – nice folks.  You notice that no Chase executives or BoA executives or Wells Fargo folks ever go to prison. Nope. Try this at home – go steal a few thousand dollars and see how far you get.  You go to prison. Steal a few BILLION and you probably get a promotion and an executive bonus.

Copyright 2020 by Burl Barer, All Rights Reserved. No portion of this may be reproduced or published without specific permission.

Burl Barer is an Edgar-award winning and Anthony-award nominated true crime writer.

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