Chase Bank Blamed for Embezzlement

LAS VEGAS (CN) – After negligently allowing a couple to embezzle $157,000 from a business, Chase Bank blocked efforts to investigate the theft, the company claims in court.
     Vegas Game Point accused JPMorgan Chase Bank of negligence, fraud and other claims in a Nov. 5 complaint in Clark County Court. It did not its own former manager or his wife, whom it accuses of committing the embezzlement.
     Vegas Game Point makes branded table games for casinos. It claims Melissa Shelburn, wife of former managing member Timothy Shelburn, created a company called VGPNV LLC on June 30 by filing articles of organization with the Nevada Secretary of State and opening a Chase Bank account in that name. (Graph 5)
     Vegas Game Point also has a Chase Bank account. It claims that from July 17 through Aug. 14 a major client, American Gaming Systems, wrote six checks totaling $157,375.90 and made payable to Vegas Game Point that were deposited into the VGPNV bank account instead.
     The Shelburns were not authorized to access Vegas Game Point’s account or divert the checks into the VGPNV account they created, the company says, but Chase Bank allowed it.
     “Chase Bank erroneously, fraudulently, and negligently allowed the American Gaming Systems’ checks to be deposited in the Shelburn account, resulting in embezzlement of $157,375.90,” Vegas Game Point says in the complaint.
     When notified of the embezzlement, Vegas Game Point says, Chase Bank told it to have American Gaming Systems’ bank, Wells Fargo, investigate the matter. But Chase Bank refused to cooperate with Wells Fargo and say whether the checks were deposited into Vegas Game Point’s account or the one created by the Shelburns, according to the lawsuit.
     Vegas Game Point claims Wells Fargo “traced” the checks to Chase Bank, which conducted its own investigation but refused to reveal the results, won’t discuss the matter and refuses to resolve it.
     Vegas Game Point claims Chase Bank did not “exercise reasonable care in its handling of routine depositing of checks into accounts within its control,” which enabled the embezzlement, and has all the information needed to resolve the matter, but won’t.
     Vegas Game Point seeks punitive damages for fraud, bad faith, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and failure to exercise ordinary care.
     Chase Bank officials did not respond to requests for comment.
     Vegas Game Point’s attorney, Richard Newman, was not immediately available for comment Monday.

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