What You Need to Know
A Los Angeles resident accuses the bank and other defendants of stealing at least $32,000 in valuables.
The pieces have yet to be returned, the filing notes.
Tiffany and Cartier items are among the missing property, the complaint says.
A longtime Wells Fargo customer has filed a lawsuit against the institution over a missing safe deposit box that she said contained at least $32,000 in jewelry, including items with sentimental value.
Cedina Kim, a Los Angeles resident, accuses Wells Fargo and numerous unidentified “Doe” defendants of negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion (intentionally taking someone’s goods), unjust enrichment and unfair business practices.
Among other alleged violations, Kim accuses the bank and co-defendants of theft under a California penal code covering receiving stolen property.
The defendants “knowingly and willfully conspired and agreed among themselves to commit the acts,” conspiring “to misappropriate and steal the property of plaintiff or cause (her) property in the safe deposit box to go missing,” the lawsuit alleges.
Kim, who had a safe deposit box for nearly 19 years, “was shocked when she went to retrieve her valuables only to learn that the Wells Fargo safe deposit box and all Ms. Kim’s property that had been entrusted inside that box vanished. Ms. Kim’s property was wrongfully taken or stolen,” the complaint alleges.
Kim had placed jewelry in the safe deposit box after her mother, newly diagnosed with cancer, gave the items to her in 2019, according to the complaint. Her mother died a few months later.
“The devastating situation arising from Ms. Kim’s mother’s death has been made even more heart-breaking with the loss of Ms. Kim’s highly sentimental jewelry that was wrongfully taken from Ms. Kim’s safe deposit box she entrusted with defendant Wells Fargo,” the lawsuit said.
Wells Fargo notified Kim last year that it was closing the branch housing her safe deposit box and that she should close the box by Sept. 23, 2022, the suit says. Since the branch was closing and Kim didn’t have time to find her key, a bank employee waived the drilling fee.
After a worker drilled and opened the safe deposit box door, “the driller announced that the internal removable metal box was missing,” the lawsuit says. “The entire internal metal box with all Ms. Kim’s contents was gone without her knowledge or consent.”