Utah Man Claims Chase Branch Passed Him a Counterfeit $100 Bill

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Kipp Hagaman, an Ivins, Utah man, enters a Chase branch with $3 in his pocket and withdraws $2000, in cash,  from his account. He takes the twenty $100 notes and goes to America First Credit Union to pay bills. A teller and the assistant branch manager at America First Credit Union tell Hagaman that one of his $100 bills is counterfeit.

America First Credit Union then confiscates the allegedly counterfeit $100 bill and gives Hagaman a photocopy of the front and back of the bill and tells him that Chase would probably “make it right.”

The Chase Bank branch manager informs him “it’s Chase’s policy that once you leave the building, it’s on you and you should check your money.” Hagaman decided to camp out in front of the Chase Bank branch with a sign reading “Chase Bank Passed Me A Counterfeit $100 Bill!

I would have thought that banks would have some sophisticated counterfeit detection devices. If the bank is unable to detect a counterfeit bill, is a customer likely to detect it? I never look carefully at those twenties that come from the ATM. How throughly have they been screened?

For a lousy $100, you’d think that Chase Bank would have wanted to avoid the spectacle outside their branch.

H/T: St. George News, Legal Blog Watch.

47 thoughts on “Utah Man Claims Chase Branch Passed Him a Counterfeit $100 Bill”

  1. We just received a counterfeit bill from Bank of America, my boyfriend cashed his workmans comp check there and went to deposit it at TD Bank and they caught the fake bill two of three machines and the pen said it was good there third newest machine showed that it was counterfeit and Bank of America is doing nothing saying they checked it on there machine, We are on a very limited income and I find this to be absolutely ridiculous, shouldn’t the bank be responsible??

  2. Kipp, how can you prove it? My boyfriend just had the exact same thing happen and because he didn’t notice it while he was in the bank were out 100! That’s a lot of money, its christmas time, we have a family, we have bills to pay, I don’t know what to do, I can’t just be out 100, who would ever think that the bank would do something like this?!

  3. I am Kipp Hagaman. I can prove that the bill came from Chase. The time I spent in front of Chase, was worth more than $100 to me. This was strictly based on principle. Incidentally, Chase has been bullying clients for at least the 10 YEARS THAT I HAVE DONE BUSINESS WITH THEM. I had simply had enough, so I exercised my 1st amendment rights. Cheaper and faster than small claims court.

  4. Banks are in a much better position to detect counterfeit currency than are members of the general public – money is their business. Just as food processors and vendors are held strictly liable if they sell a customer tainted food, banks should be strictly liable if they dispense counterfeit bills.

    Or should we all insist that tellers examine currency and sign an affidavit attesting to its being genuine before we leave the window? That is the implication of Chase’s policy. Wonder how soon they’d change it if customers started slowing up their workflow by insisting on a written guarantee of genuineness following inspection of every bill under a magnifier?

  5. Jeff,
    All protests or demonstrations are supposed to interrupt and distract so that they can make their point.

  6. “instead of attacking banks and bankers as Satan, please answer any of my question. Please respond to any of my scenarios.” (Jeff)


    No … you made up the scenarios, you answer them …

    Banks aren’t Satan for Satan is a made-up character used to frighten little children … banks are real. They are parasitic institutions … always have been, always will be. Now perhaps some of the characteristics of the fictitious Satan were developed from the behavior patterns of bankers …. but that would be the only connection.

  7. My, my, my, but you are worked into a frenzy over $100 loss. For a bank that was incompetently or possibly knowingly and criminally passing counterfeit money to customers. I sure hope that $100 doesn’t cut into their $17.4 billion dollar profit.

    The issue is that you’d rather Hagaman’s civil rights be trampled to avoid embarrassment for a bank. You would have an innocent man charged with a crime he didn’t commit. All so your beloved Chase can retain that $100.

    Which would make you not just an apologist, but a fascist as well.

    Good show, greed boy.

  8. Thanks for the clarification and correction Stamford Liberal,

    What I meant to say is that a definition can change when another court rules so.

    One immediate definition that springs to mind is
    “freedom of speech”

    Speech has a definition. Yet the legal definition of what “speech” covers has seen a near constant expansion for many many years now. Nearly always it took the Supreme Court to decide that ‘x’ was protected as “free speech”. Some attempted change to the definition of “free speech” are still being debate today such as campaign contributions.

    Look at some of the scenarios I posted previously or just answer this question:

    If a man KNOWINGLY makes a false accusation against another entity and then proceeds to interrupt said entity’s business until he gets paid is he guilty of a crime?

  9. **Jeff you are suggesting that the customer was guilty of extortion so how can you say you are not demonizing anyone? It is Butler vs. Uconn…see you later.**

    Fair enough. You have a good point there. I concede that was wrong of me to say without qualification.

    My point that I tried to clarify later – in too many words obviously is that without proof that the bank is guilty his picketing may have crossed the line. He didn’t get the money because they researched and found he was correct. They gave him the money because it was cheaper. If he was lying then would it be extortion?

    Question if anyone knows:
    When the bank uses one of those bill counters are the serial numbers recorded? In other words could he request/demand that they see if that bill was in their system?

  10. “Yes, they can be. Definitions can and do change. Precedents happen and the definition is expanded upon.”

    Precedent and definitions are two separate and distinct things –

    Legal principle, created by a court decision, which provides an example or authority for judges deciding similar issues later. Generally, decisions of higher courts (within a particular system of courts) are mandatory precedent on lower courts within that system–that is, the principle announced by a higher court must be followed in later cases. For example, the California Supreme Court decision that unmarried people who live together may enter into cohabitation agreements (Marvin v. Marvin), is binding on all appellate courts and trial courts in California (which are lower courts in relation to the California Supreme Court). Similarly, decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court (the highest court in the country) are generally binding on all other courts in the U.S.

    Decisions of lower courts are not binding on higher courts, although from time to time a higher court will adopt the reasoning and conclusion of a lower court. Decisions by courts of the same level (usually appellate courts) are considered persuasive authority. That is, they should always be carefully considered by the later court but need not be followed.

    As a practical matter, courts can usually find precedent for any direction they want to go in deciding a particular case. Accordingly, precedent is used as often to justify a particular outcome in a case as it is to guide the decision.The body of judicial decisions in which were formulated the points of law arising in any case. A previously decided case that is considered binding in the court where it was issued and in all lower courts in the same jurisdiction.A court decision in an earlier case with facts and law similar to a dispute currently before a court. Precedent will ordinarily govern the decision of a later similar case, unless a party can show that it was wrongly decided or that it differed in some significant way.

    The decision of courts of justice when exactly in point with a case before the court are generally held to have a binding authority, as well to keep the scale of justice even and steady because the law in that case has been solemnly declared and determined.

    To render precedents valid they must be founded in reason and justice; must have been made upon argument, and be the solemn decision of the court; and in order to give them binding effect there must be a current of decisions.

    According to Lord Talbot, it is “much better to stick to the known general rules than to follow any one particular precedent which may be founded on reason unknown to us.” Blackstone says, that a former decision is in general to be followed unless “manifestly absurd or unjust,” and, in the latter case, it is declared when overruled not that the former sentence was bad law, but that it was not law.

    Precedents can only be useful when they show that the case has been decided upon a certain principle and ought not to be binding when contrary to such principle. If a precedent is to be followed because it is a precedent, even when decided against an established rule of law, there can be no possible correction of abuses because the fact of their existence renders them above the law. It is always safe to rely upon principles.

    “In Law, a previous decision, rule or practice which, in the absence of a definite statute, has whatever force and authority a Judge may choose to give it, thereby greatly simplifying his task of doing as he pleases. As there are precedents for everything, he has only to ignore those that make against his interest and accentuate those in the line of his desire. Invention of the precedent elevates the trial-at-law from the low estate of a fortuitous ordeal to the noble attitude of a dirigible arbitrament.” — Ambrose Bierce


    The use, or the express or implicit threat of the use, of violence or other criminal means to cause harm to person, reputation, or property as a means to obtain property from someone else with his consent. USC 18

    The Hobbs Act defines “extortion” as “the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right.” 18 U.S.C. S 1951(b)(2).


  11. oh and before I am accused, I do not believe the man was lying or telling the truth. I do not automatically believe or disbelieve his story.

    I am merely pointing out that he could be lying. If he is, then causing enough interference in their business until he goes away just might rise to the level of extortion. If he is telling the truth then it probably doesn’t.

    Here is another question. Let’s assume you’re all right. The bank is lying because like all banks they are greedy SOBs who lie, cheat, and steal. What if they either take the $100 out of the tellers pay since she didn’t do her job by catching it or they fire her for not catching it.

    Would you feel that was right? No. None of us would. Without proof that the teller accepted the counterfeit bill and didn’t do due diligence in catching it, any punishment would be unfair and possibly illegal.

  12. Jeff you are suggesting that the customer was guilty of extortion so how can you say you are not demonizing anyone? It is Butler vs. Uconn…see you later.

  13. instead of attacking banks and bankers as Satan, please answer any of my question. Please respond to any of my scenarios. Look at the situation without factoring in the fact that the accused is a bank. Remember all are innocent until proven guilty. Then see if you still feel that any entity that doesn’t hand out $100 bills to anyone accusing them of passing counterfeit is automatically greedy.

  14. meant to say “Picketing can be a threat when its intention is to hurt the other party and you have no proof of your contention of wrongdoing.”

  15. My point is picketing can cross the line when its intention just to cause enough grief to get paid off. Why didn’t he sue them? Because he had no proof. Picketing can be a threat when it is hurting your business.

    Also couldn’t there be legal ramifications of him making claims he couldn’t prove if the bank wanted to press charges?

    Also you are all assuming the bank did pass the counterfeit bill when we know no such thing. All we know is he claimed they did and caused enough ruckus that it was cheaper to give him a $100.

    I think the only reason you believe the man is it is a bank that was accused. If it was some mom & pop store barely making it because of WalMart it is likely you would not automatically believe him.

    **As far a legal definitions being flexible … lol … really?**

    Yes, they can be. Definitions can and do change. Precedents happen and the definition is expanded upon.

    The experiments hardly need to be done as I was pointing out. It is obvious that none would give you money no more than you would hand over money if some store or individual accused you of giving them counterfeit money.

    You keep ignoring that basic fact – again just because it is a major bank that was accused.

    I am not lionizing or demonizing anyone. In fact I am the ONLY person here who is doing such things. I am treating both parties equally. Entity a accused entity b of cheating. Entity ‘a’ does not have proof. The fact that entity ‘b’ is a powerful bank does not make the bank more or less believable. The fact that entity ‘a’ is a working class man doesn’t make him more or less believable.

  16. rafflaw,

    “This is another example of the big corporate lie. Picketing becomes extortion in their greedy world. I guess 1 person picketing against corporate unfairness is criminal while 200 Teapublicans marching is a patriotic protest.”

    Lionize the greedy and criminal bastards and demonize the working bastards … up is down and down is up … ain’t life grand?

  17. Stamford,
    By Jeff’s definitions, the banks make the rules and the consumer can take a hike. A protest is a protest demonstration, not extortion.

  18. “Try a little experiment.”

    Tell you what, since you’re so interested in experiments, why don’t you try your own experiment and report the results.

    As far a legal definitions being flexible … lol … really?

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