JP Morgan SUED by a couple who say investment bank SOLD $10m of their jewelry

JP Morgan is SUED by a couple who say investment bank SOLD $10m in jewelry they left in a safety deposit box

  • Jorge and Stella Araneta said JP Morgan sent the bills for their multiple safety deposit boxes to the wrong address and caused them to fall behind on payment
  • They said the bank had finally drilled into their boxes and removed their contents
  • When they finally found they’d fallen behind on payments they said they brought accounts current, but the bank then auctioned off the contents of their boxes

A well-heeled couple is suing JP Morgan over claims it sold $10 million worth of jewelry they had stored in a safety deposit box at the bank.

Jorge and Stella Araneta said after years of having safety deposit boxes with the bank, in 2016 JP Morgan began sending their bills to the wrong address and causing them to fall behind on their payments.

They allege the bank sent warnings that the box’s contents would be removed if payments were not made, but that those warnings were also sent to an incorrect address.

After the accounts went unpaid for nearly a year, the couple said in 2017 JP Morgan drilled into the boxes and removed the contents, which consisted of rare coins, jewelry, and precious metals, according to Bloomberg.

The Aranetas said the bank did not successfully notify them until 2019, and that they brought their account current immediately after learning what had happened.

Though the bank assured them their valuables would be returned, the couple allege JP Morgan later sold them at auction for $552,700 – they are a fraction of their multi-million-dollar value.

Jorge and Stella Araneta said JP Morgan sold their valuables despite paying for backed safety deposit box fees

Jorge and Stella Araneta said JP Morgan sold their valuables despite paying for backed safety deposit box fees

JP Morgan allegedly sent the Aranetas' invoices to the wrong address before drilling their box

JP Morgan allegedly sent the Aranetas’ invoices to the wrong address before drilling their box

The Aranetas live in the Philippines but have addresses in Miami and Manhattan where their invoices from JP Morgan have been sent since they opened their accounts in 2006.

In their suit, they said ten years later the bank began sending invoices to an PO box in Louisiana and they never saw them or following warnings about back-payments.

As the accounts went unpaid, they said JP Morgan finally sent a warning saying their boxes would be drilled into and their contents removed if payments were not received within 60 days.

That warning was also sent to the Louisiana address, and in February 2016 the bank drilled into four boxes and moved their contents to storage.

It wasn’t until three years later they said they were notified about what had happened. They said they paid up, and the bank assured them their belongings would be safely returned.

But the Aranetas allege that ten months later the bank instead auctioned the belongings off.

The couple sued the bank on multiple claims in 2022. On Wednesday, US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald dismissed one of those claims.

But the case is continuing on other claims of negligence.

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