Man’s entire $400,000 savings stolen by identity thief at Atlanta bank

ATLANTA — A California man is trying to figure out how his entire retirement savings was stolen in one fell swoop at an Atlanta bank.

Ira Siegelman does not live in Atlanta and has never even been to Atlanta. Still, someone walked into a Buckhead Chase bank with Siegelman’s IRA rollover check pretending to be him. That crook walked out of the bank nearly half a million dollars richer.

“The gross negligence is just mind-boggling at so many levels,” Siegelman said.

Siegelman reached out from his southern California home to Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray after getting nowhere for more than three weeks trying to get his stolen money back from Chase.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Siegelman’s $400,000 IRA rollover check from a 30-year Department of Defense career was apparently stolen from the mail and cashed at the Peachtree Road Chase branch.

Siegelman says he was never contacted by Chase. He only found out what had happened when he called the U.S. Treasury wondering where the money was and was told he cashed the check in Atlanta.

“Chase Bank never contacted me. Obviously, they never did the due diligence because the check wasn’t even made out to me. It was made to Vanguard Investments,” Siegelman said.

Not only was the check made out to Vanguard, but the thief even misspelled Siegelman’s name when endorsing it.


Chase also allowed the crook to open two checking accounts in Siegelman’s name and write $25,000 worth of checks.

“I checked with Chase and in order to open a checking account you need two forms of ID and a social security number. They didn’t have any information other than what was printed on the check, which is just my name and address,” Siegelman said.

Gray reached out to Chase Bank who will not comment on the fraud or what went wrong with security measures.

They did release a statement that read:

“We are reaching out to the U.S. Treasury Department so they can file a fraud report with us. That will allow us to send the $400,000 back to them and they can reissue the check to Mr. Siegelman or send him the money electronically.”

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]