Artistic Tile Files Suit Against Valley Bank
Bank Cashed Counterfeit Checks for More Than $5 Million Against Company's Account
SECAUCUS, N.J., Sept. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Artistic Tile, a family-owned business and leader in the luxury tile and stone industry, has filed a claim against Valley Bank (NASDAQ:VLY), a publicly-traded regional bank, for its lack of safeguards in cashing more than $5 million in counterfeit and forged checks beginning in the last week of May 2021 and continuing into July 2021 against the Artistic Tile account with Valley Bank.
The suit was filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division - Hudson County.
Artistic Tile has had a 34-year banking relationship with Valley Bank. Despite that relationship, Valley cashed fraudulent checks starting the last week of May 2021 and continuing until almost the end of July 2021 totaling more than $5 million to a party forging checks against the Artistic account.
Among other Artistic Tile executives, Founder and Chairman Nancy Epstein reached out to Valley Bank senior executives, including its Chief Executive Officer, only to receive no response to her letters and emails. Artistic Tile's senior executives had a "Zoom" meeting with Valley's security team to provide them with details about the fraudulent check scheme. Nevertheless, Valley Bank subsequently continued to allow fraudulent checks against the Artistic Tile account. Valley Bank allowed forged and/or counterfeit checks to be cashed even where those checks were duplicate numbers of the previously forged checks that Valley had allowed. Upon discovery in July 2021 Artistic Tile immediately informed law enforcement agencies of the Bank's failures.
"It is stunning that a major regional bank would not have safeguards in place that would recognize and flag fraudulent activity," said Peter Harvey, a partner at Patterson Belknap, who is part of the team representing Artistic Tile. "And for a bank that touts its ability to handle "high volume transactions" with "friendly specialists," how do you explain that the Founder and Chairman, a client of more than 30 years, can't get a return phone call from senior executives of her bank, including the bank's CEO, after her company has been a victim of a million-dollar fraud due to the bank's inadequate security procedures?"
Copies of the Complaint are available by contacting Deborah Kostroun at Zito Partners (firstname.lastname@example.org).
SOURCE Artistic Tile
Company Codes: NASDAQ-NMS:VLY
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