Originally from Offaly, Noel Muldoon was stunned when he discovered his safety deposit box was empty when he visited his local Chase branch on 5656 Riverdale Avenue in the Bronx on February 10.
“There was nothing left, only an empty envelope,” Muldoon told the Irish Voice.
Muldoon and his wife Patricia, wanted somewhere secure to store cash gifts they received from their 2008 wedding and decided to put the money in their local Chase branch, where Patricia had been a customer for years.
After visiting their deposit box on a few occasions, the Riverdale residents were satisfied their money was safe.
“We were there a couple of times, we had our passports there and a few other bits and pieces but we never touched any cash as we were saving it for when we bought a house,” the construction worker said.
Noel, who also works as a bartender at the weekends, and Patricia, a teacher, welcomed their first child, a baby girl, on January 28.
It was Patricia, originally from Mayo, who made the initial discovery when she visited her local Chase branch to deposit some money the couple had received as gifts for their newborn.
“Trish went down to deposit some cash but there was nothing left,” Muldoon recalls.
He immediately alerted the manager who assured him a full investigation would be conducted.
“They were pretty evasive, like it was a common thing,” Muldoon recalls. “If somebody robbed the bank of $10,000 the cops would be swarming the place.
“They said the investigator would look after the situation.”
The couple went straight to the local 50th Precinct police station that night and filed a police report.
Chase advised the couple to go through the proper channels and deal with a Chase investigator, who could offer few answers regarding their money.
“We made many phone calls and just basically got the run around with no one calling us back,” said Muldoon.
Finally on Friday March 4 last, Patricia met with the Chase investigator in the Riverdale branch. Bringing her brother along as a witness, the high school teacher was pessimistic when the investigator assured her he would make contact the following Wednesday with a case update.
But the Muldoons have not heard a single word from the Chase investigator since.
Desperate to get their money back, the couple decided to take matter into their own hands and initiated civil court proceedings in April.
“There was nothing else we could do, we were left with no choice” reflected Muldoon.
When the Irish Voice contacted Frances Lau, the branch manager of the Riverdale Chase branch where the incident occurred, she declined to comment and redirected the query to the press division.
Chase spokesman, Michael Fusco later confirmed that an investigation into the incident was ongoing.
No spokesperson from the 50th Precinct police department was available for comment before the Irish Voice went to press.
For now the couple, who have lived in the U.S. for almost ten years, are left without any answers as to what happened to their money.
“We don’t really know what is going on,” Muldoon said.
“We just want our money back. We are not letting it go.”