Ricobene v. JP Morgan Chase

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

04/13/2009

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

Illinois

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
James Ricobene filed suit against JP Morgan Chase and collection agency Universal Tracing Services (UTS) after a UTS employee allegedly posted a message on Ricobene's daughter's MySpace page threatening legal action if he did not surrender his 2007 Mercedes GL450, which he... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

JP Morgan Chase Bank; Universal Tracing Services, Inc.

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Organization

Location of Party: 

  • Illinois

Location of Party: 

  • Illinois
  • Washington
Description

James Ricobene filed suit against JP Morgan Chase and collection agency Universal Tracing Services (UTS) after a UTS employee allegedly posted a message on Ricobene's daughter's MySpace page threatening legal action if he did not surrender his 2007 Mercedes GL450, which he apparently used as collateral to secure a loan from Chase. 

According to Ricobene's complaint, the message posted on Gina Ricobene's MySpace page read as follows:

We have been retained by, JPMorgan Chase Bank, to locate and repossess their missing collateral a 2007 Mercedes GL 450. Please contact our office immediately so we can discuss the peaceful recovery of the collateral. Failure to contact me will result in further action against your father James Ricobene. Legal options range from having a replevin order served on you or even worse reporting the collateral as stolen to local authorities in Illinois under the A.R.S. act 18-5-504. Failure to comply with this notice of surrender is a class 5 felony and carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for two years plus all applicable surcharges. You must contact the writer within 5 days to prevent this action from taking place. You can contact me directly at 800-667-7704 ext 222 or directly at 604-267-1581 ext. 222

Awaiting your immediate response.

Chris Flanagan
Senior investigator

Complaint ¶ 6.  Ricobene's complaint points out that refusing to return collateral without a court order is not a crime in Illinois, and that "there is no such thing as a 'class 5 felony' in Illinois." Complaint ¶¶ 11, 13. It also alleges that friends and family members saw the message on MySpace, causing Ricobene humiliation, embarassment, and emotional distress.

Ricobene's complaint includes claims of libel, false light invasion of privacy, and consumer fraud.  According to Chicago Breaking News, his daughter Gina has also filed suit, claiming invasion of privacy and consumer fraud.

According to  On Point News, UTS denies having an employee by the name stated in the post and claims that "no employee 'has ever posted anything on anyone's MySpace page."  Its website, however, boasts that "Universal tracing prides itself in using the latest technology and resources to track down and locate the hardest to find missing persons, and debtors." (emphasis in original)

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Social Network

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
  • False Light
  • Publication of Private Facts
  • User Comments or Submissions
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Illinois

Source of Law: 

  • Illinois

Court Name: 

Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois

Court Type: 

State

Case Number: 

2009-L-004397

Relevant Documents: 

CMLP Information (Private)

Priority: 

1-High

CMLP Notes: 

06/29/2009 - LB editing