Security National Bank Sioux Falls Missing Money and Cover Up
I opened several business and personal accounts with Security National Bank of South Dakota, 4621 W. 26th St, .Sioux Falls, SD 57106 in June of 2008. My average daily balance was about $20,000 and I never had an overdraft.
My relationship with the bank was good until September, 2009 when my girlfriend took about $150 in loose change to the branch office at 4621 W 26th St., Sioux Falls, SD 57106 to be deposited in our joint account. Although she had counted it to the penny the teller gave her a deposit slip for about $20 less than she had expected. This was the second time we had seen a discrepancy in a deposit.
I spoke with the branch manager who assured me that he had audited the teller's account and inspected their counting machine but he could not account for the missing funds. The impression I got from this incident was that there was something unusual going on at Security National but I couldn't get a fix on what that was.
About a week later I filed a dispute for a purchase I had made with my business debit (Visa) card. Although I had complied with Visa's rules for a dispute the branch manager sent me an email that was evasive. After a series of emails I was informed that the matter was being transferred to Joel Christopherson, Vice President of Retail in Sioux Falls. Mr. Christopherson sent me another evasive email and, when I became insistent that he provide me a straight answer to the simple question of why they would not process my credit card dispute properly he agreed to call me; however, he sent a letter dated 10/19/09 notifying me that Security National Bank was closing all of my accounts instead.
This followed a telephone call I had with Brian Bauman, President of Security National Bank of South Dakota on 10/15/09. He is the most senior officer in Sioux Falls. Mr. Bauman refused to provide me a meaningful answer to why Security National Bank was treating a profitable customer in this manner and left me with impression that there was another issue, that they weren't addressing, that was the cause of the friction. After some reflection I came to the conclusion that it was the issue of the missing money in my account that Security National was trying to hide.
Although Security National Bank set the closure date for my accounts as November 18, 2009 they canceled my business and personal debit and froze my accounts as of October 19th without any notice to me that they were doing so. Since this account closure was unjustified and unwarranted (cover ups rarely make any sense) I had no advanced notice of any problems accessing my accounts. If I would have been traveling I would have been in very serious trouble. It was only the threat of legal action that caused Security National to reactivate my accounts.
On 11/2/09 I sent a letter to Joel Christopherson offering to settle our dispute for my damages and a $500 contribution to the United services Organization (USO) in lieu of litigation. On 11/17/09 I received an email from Mr. Christopherson accepting the terms of my settlement offer that included a release and non disclosure agreement which would be standard in a legal dispute and understandable in a situation where Security National wanted to cover up some irregularities in their accounts. After reviewing the release I realized that the language would require us to commit criminal obstruction of justice if any state or federal law enforcement or regulatory agency contacted us as part of an investigation into account problems at Security National.
I called Mr. Christopherson on 12/10/09 and explained my concern that the release, as written, would require us to be an accessory to any improper behavior that Security National had committed. I asked him if that was the bank's intent and his response was"absolutely not" and requested that I send a letter with revised wording that would not require us to break the law if Security National was investigated. Mr. Christopherson's response was:
"Security National Bank has taken time to review your request to send a letter with your suggested wording. SNB will not be sending a letter."
"If you wish to sign the Mutual Release of All Claims document, I will prepare the appropriate payments previously discussed. If not, I will prepare cashiers checks for the remaining balances in each of the accounts and place them in the mail."
Despite Mr. Christopherson's unmistakable claim that Security National was "absolutely not" trying to force us to assist them in covering up the problems they were having at the bank, they absolutely were asking us to obstruct justice.
As part of the settlement process Security National Bank withdrew their threat of closing our accounts. Once it became apparent that we would not agree to assist the bank in obstructing justice they closed our accounts without notice.
To see the emails and correspondence about this complaint visit:
Review about: Bank Account.