by Brian Mahany
Fraud stories never cease to amaze me but after years of prosecuting fraudsters or helping victims recover their money, the stories sometimes lose some of their excitement. Especially with bank fraud, the stories are often pretty complex and quite dry. Not this one.
According to a press report, Citibank is being sued for millions after a debt collection company reportedly killed a bank customer who was about $10,000 delinquent in credit card payments. Yikes!
The good news – if indeed there can be any good news – is that the killing took place in Indonesia. Although the facts are somewhat in dispute, the Jakarta Post reports that Irzen Octa went to a Citibank branch in South Jakarta, Indonesia to complain about his credit card bill. The bill had been in dispute since 2008. At the branch, Octen met with several collections specialists hired by Citibank.
A friend of Octen’s went to the bank to pick him up only to find him in a room labeled “interrogation room.” The debt collection folks said Octen had passed out after a “quarrel.” His friend found him dead on the floor with signs of a severe beating. There was even blood on the walls and curtains.
Press reports indicate that 3 of the debt collectors are suspects.
Citibank, which is headquartered in New York City, is likely to be sued in the U.S. Given the mood of the American public towards Wall Street and big banks, the jury isn’t likely to be too sympathetic to the bank if the allegations are true. Even though the three men worked for a different company, the killing took place in a Citibank “interrogation room” and no one at the bank took action for perhaps two hours while Octen lay dying on the floor.
It’s hard to judge the accuracy of stories reported in foreign media but the story has been reported in multiple Indonesian media outlets.
The story is so extreme as to leave me speechless. If you have been victimized or defrauded by a bank, however, contact us. The fraud lawyers at Mahany & Ertl have helped many victims of fraud recover their hard earned money. Bank fraud, Ponzi schemes or investment fraud, we can help.
Mahany & Ertl, LLC – America’s Fraud Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine & San Francisco, California. Services nationwide.