Bank sued by couple who claim they lost $127K from wrongfully seized safe deposit box

By Louisiana Record reports | Feb 25, 2014

GRETNA – A couple is suing a local bank and its manager for allegedly allowing more than $127,000 to be seized from their safe deposit box as part of an investigation by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Julia and Martin Marino filed suit against Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Company and Bryant Messina in the 24th Judicial District Court on Feb. 12.

The Marinos allege that Stacy Taranto, an agent with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, notified Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Company that checks bearing the last name Toker and the Marinos’ bank account number were found and turned into the law enforcement agency. The plaintiffs claim that Bryant Messina, the branch manager at Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Company, then called Taranto back to offer information that a safety deposit box, also in the name of Toker, had recently been accessed by Martin Marino, however, the Marinos contend that both the safety deposit box and bank account was actually in their names.

The Marinos asserts that Taranto subsequently issued a warrant for the safety deposit box and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office wrongfully seized $127,730 from the safety deposit box.

The defendant is accused of violating state law, providing inaccurate information of a personal nature and breaching the duty and confidentiality a financial institution bears to its customer.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of funds, legal costs and attorney’s fees.

The Marinos are represented by Alaina Brandhurst of Covington-based The Truitt Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Division L Judge Donald A. Rowan Jr.

Case no. 735-480.

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