• Bank reopens children's magazine company's complaint about fraud after FOX13 investigation

    By: Kody Leibowitz

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A major financial institution is taking a new look at a bank complaint after a FOX13 Investigation.

    Bank of America re-opened Jabberblabber’s case for review, according to Jabberblabber’s co-founder Nikki Schroeder.

    Earlier in May, FOX13 Investigates reported on the nature of Jabberblabber’s complaints about the major banking corporation.

    RELATED: Local children's magazine company out more than $90K years after former employee stole checks

    Jabberblabber, the free, educational magazine for children, lost more than $72,000 after a former employee deposited more 150 business checks to made to the company into her own personal Bank of America account, according to federal records.


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    That former employee pleaded guilty in Oct. 2015 to one count of obstruction of correspondence. 

    The money lost was later recovered; the family of the former Jabberblabber employee repaid the company in full. 

    But the magazine’s owner contends the failure from Bank of America to turn over records in the case in a timely manner cost her company $98,000.

    “I’m not asking for a million dollars and then settling for less and then asking for punitive damages,” said Schroeder in an interview with FOX13 Investigates in Spring 2019. “I’m not doing that. I’m saying, ‘please reimburse me. Please reimburse me for your negligence.’”

    FOX13 Investigates learned Bank of America would again look at Schroeder’s complaints weeks ago. 

    In the time since our report aired, Jabberblabber filed a complaint with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, better known as OCC.

    OCC is an arm of the federal U-S Treasury that examines banking compliance issues. 

    Part of what the OCC could look at in the Jabberblabber complaint revolves around the Bank Secrecy Act. 

    The statute requires banks to file Suspicious Activity Reports relating to money laundering.

    “As a general matter, banks are required to report a suspicious transactions aggregating $5,000 or more that have ‘no business or apparent lawful purpose or is not the sort in which the particular customer would normally be expected to engage, and the institution knows of no reasonable explanation for the transaction after examining the available facts, including the background and possible purpose of the transaction,’” an OCC spokesperson said in an email to FOX13 Investigates, citing 12 C.F.R. 21.11(c)(4)(iii). 

    “The requirements for suspicious activity reports are heavily fact dependent and there are insufficient details to make that determination here.  In any event, such reports, when made, are strictly confidential.”

    The OCC spokesperson said the banking oversight agency could not comment on the specific legal case involving Bank of America and Jabberblabber, but also referred FOX13 Investigates to HelpWithMyBank.gov.

    FOX13 Investigates reached out to Bank of America for comment on them re-examining Jabberblabber’s complaint and if the bank has a response to the Bank Secrecy Act. 

    Bank of America has yet to respond. 

    FOX13 Investigates also reached out to the state Department of Financial Institutions for state laws relating that would impact the case. 

    “Our Department cannot provide comment or give legal advice on a matter that is subject to ongoing litigation between parties or has been or is being resolved by the court system,” said a DFI spokesperson.

    A DFI spokesperson referred us to OCC and HelpWithMyBank.gov, as well as two codes in Tennessee’s law: Title 45, Chapter 2, Part 7 and Title 47, Chapter 4.

    Title 45, Chapter 2, Part 7 refers to deposits in banks at banks and financial institutions, while Title 47, Chapter 4 refers to bank deposits and collections in commercial instruments and transactions.

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