First Bank and guardian allegedly froze mother's $750k account, suit says

Kelly Holleran Sep. 11, 2009, 1:35am

First Bank and a temporary guardian are being sued over allegations a deposit of $750,000 was wrongfully made public, causing the plaintiff's property to be broken into and the account to be wrongfully frozen.

Scott Jenkins, holder of power of attorney for his mother, Alice Jenkins, filed a lawsuit Sept. 3 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against First Bank and Bode Courtney Scott.

Scott Jenkins claims Alice Jenkins appointed him to act as her attorney-in-fact on Aug. 10, 2007.

At the time, Alice Jenkins had various accounts at First Bank in her name and in Jenkins Truck and Farm Service, according to the complaint.

On Sept. 28, 2008, Scott Jenkins deposited $750,000 in his mother's account at First Bank to repay various loans she, his father and Jenkins Truck and Farm Service had given him, the suit states.

When the money was deposited, First Bank notified Bode Courtney Scott of the deposit. Scott had been appointed temporary guardian of Alice Jenkins for 60 days on July 15, 2008, the complaint says. However, Scott Jenkins claims Scott was no longer temporary guardian of the account and never should have been notified.

After finding out about the deposit, Scott proceeded with court filings of the large amounts of money deposited into the account, making the deposit publicly known, according to the complaint. He also extended his appointment as temporary guardian through ex-parte contact with the presiding judge, the suit states.

In turn, Scott Jenkins's home and car were broken into, the complaint says.

In addition, Scott convinced First Bank to freeze Alice Jenkins's account after misstating the duration and scope of his appointment as temporary guardian, the suit states. As a result of the freeze, the bank placed stop payments on all checks and withdrawals, denied Scott Jenkins access to the account, refused Scott Jenkins in-person request to withdraw money from the account and called police to have Scott Jenkins removed from the property, the complaint says.

"Plaintiffs have been damaged by the Defendant's actions in that they lost access to their money, checks that had been written and sent to various creditors, including but not limited to lawyers and accountants, bounced causing Plaintiff to suffer embarrassment and humiliation, as well as fear that Defendant would not return funds to her," the suit states.

In the four-count suit, Scott Jenkins is seeking a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs.

Matthew J. Marlen of Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-471.

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