ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A Washington state woman has filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit regarding her $3.6 million negligence lawsuit against Wells Fargo and Navy Federal Credit Union. The lawsuit, which concerns alleged fraudulent wire transactions, was dismissed in August 2023 by the Honorable Claude M. Hilton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Both sides have not reached a compromise as part of a federally mandated mediation.
“Navy Federal and Wells Fargo failed to protect a mentally wounded Navy commander from being victimized and financially exploited for the last six months of his life,” said Janine Williamson, formerly Janine Satterfield, who filed the lawsuit in November 2022 on behalf of the estate of her late uncle, Larry Cook of Herndon, Virginia. “The Larry W. Cook Estate will appeal until Navy Federal and Wells Fargo are held monetarily accountable for their egregious negligence.”
Cook served in the U.S. Navy for 24 years, retiring as a commander in 1992. After suffering a stroke, Cook fell victim to a phishing scam in October 2020 and began wiring large sums of money to a foreign bank.
According to the legal complaint, Navy Federal processed 74 wire transfers to a foreign bank totaling $3.6 million for Cook in the final months of his life. The complaint also specifies that Navy Federal processed 42 of the 74 transfers, totaling $2.3 million, after the bank reported Cook’s behavior to adult protective services in December 2020. The complaint alleges Navy Federal continued to process transfers for several months after adult protective services notified the bank in January 2021 that Cook was the suspected victim of a fraudulent scheme and in need of protective services.
“We are disappointed but undeterred,” said Kimberley Ann Murphy, Williamson’s attorney and partner at Hale Ball Murphy, PLC. “This case is about more than just a scam — it is about protecting our most vulnerable citizens. There must be accountability at every level. Change will not happen without accountability.”
Williamson is urging lawmakers and regulators to close loopholes around wire fraud and protect seniors from being victimized. According to an FBI report on elder fraud released in March 2023, American seniors are being scammed more than ever. Annual losses from elder fraud jumped 84% in 2022, rising to $3.1 billion with the average individual loss exceeding $35,000.
Cook’s story and Williamson’s lawsuit have been profiled in USA Today, Yahoo! News, NBC Washington, CBS Seattle, Law.com, and more. Law enforcement authorities have also contacted Williamson and her attorney about the case and launched a criminal investigation.
SOURCE Larry W. Cook Estate
Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/plaintiff-appeals-dismissal-of-negligence-lawsuit-against-navy-federal-credit-union-wells-fargo-after-3-6-million-of-elderly-veterans-savings-allegedly-sent-to-scam-artists-302040126.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com