Get Gephardt helps Park City family locked out of their money in a bank standoff

Oct 5, 2023, 10:26 PM | Updated: 11:05 pm

PARK CITY — With his mother getting up there in age, Bruce Sakashita wanted her money in a place that’s safe and where it could earn a little extra interest.

“We set up this account with American Express,” he said. “They call it their high-yield savings account.”

Sakashita transferred in $130,000 that his mom had sitting in accounts at Wells Fargo and Chase. But a few months after opening the account, the powers that be at American Express were worried something didn’t smell right with the new account.

“She received a letter from American Express stating that the account was closed,” Sakashita said.

That was way back in June. And American Express did close the account, but the trouble is the company will not send the money back.

“’What we need to have you do is have the two banks from which the money was transferred, namely, Chase and Wells Fargo,’” Sakashita says American Express told him. “’They need to send us communication to recall the funds.’”

He tried, but the banks have written that he needs to get the money himself from American Express. But American Express is refusing.

“I have gotten nowhere.”

Sick of fighting on his own and getting nowhere, Sakashita had an epiphany.

“Well, why didn’t you approach a consumer advocate, you know, on the local news.”

So, this time, I reached out to American Express on the behalf of the Sakashita and his mom to ask, “Why won’t you send the money?”

A spokesperson declined to comment on the specifics of this situation, citing privacy issues, but by email wrote they take fraud very seriously.

“It is so important that we are very careful in cases of potential fraud, and we want to be sure we are thorough in our investigation until the matter is resolved safely for the customer.”

And resolved safely it was. In fact, shortly after I contacted American Express, Sakashita they got the money back plus with interest.

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Get Gephardt helps Park City family locked out of their money in a bank standoff