CHICAGO (CN) – JP Morgan Chase Bank hired a debt collector knowing that it uses malicious, defamatory tactics – in this case, posting defamatory statements on the MySpace page of the alleged debtor’s daughter, though she had nothing to do with the quarrel over a Mercedes, a man claims in Cook County Court.
James Ricobene demands punitive damages from the bank and from Universal Tracing Services.
He claims that Universal, acting as the bank’s agent, posted a defamatory message on his daughter’s MySpace page, threatening her father with a “class 5 felony,” though there is no such thing in Illinois.
He claims the defendants falsely accused him of a felony, baselessly threatened to sue his daughter, and baselessly threatened to sue him for bogus criminal charges. He claims the MySpace posted humiliated him and alarmed “several friends and family members”.
Ricobene claims that when he complained to Chase Bank, he “was informed by Chase that is used Universal as an investigator and that Chase was aware that Universal used this method of collecting debts and repossessing collateral because it was an effective collection practice.”
He claims that “the conduct of Universal and malicious and intended to injure plaintiff,” and that “the conduct of Chase in knowingly using investigators or debt collectors that engage in such actions was malicious and wanton.”
Ricobene demands punitive damages for libel, privacy invasion, and consumer fraud. He is represented by Daniel Edelman.