WARREN - When Jinny Mirabelli deposited her money into a certificate of deposit at Warren's First Place Bank, she believed it would be the best place to keep her money safe.
But when she received notice from the bank in April reminding her the CD would soon mature, she was alarmed to see the balance was nearly $6,500 less than expected.
Now more than six months later, Mirabelli, 65, of Warren has only a police report, attorney fees and lots of questions but no answers for what happened to the $6,435 mysteriously withdrawn from her CD in two increments from different bank branches.
''I took out the CD trusting the bank. As they will tell you, if you want a really safe place for your money, put it in a CD," Mirabelli said. "They are FDIC insured. I feel it's the bank's responsibility to pay me. That is federally insured."
But as Mirabelli now knows, while the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation - or FDIC - does insure bank deposits of up to $250,000 per depositor, it only insures against bank failure, not against missing money.
After questioning bank personnel, Howland Detective Justin Soroka said he was unable to produce enough evidence to file any criminal charges and, for now at least, he has left the matter up to the bank's security department.
Bank spokeswoman Marketing Manager Alicia M. Miller declined to comment.
''Since an investigation into this matter is involved, we are not able to comment about this at this time,'' she said.
The story began more than two years ago when Mirabelli deposited about $14,000 into a 25-month CD at First Place Bank.
On Nov. 23, 2010, someone withdrew $2,500, including the early withdrawal penalty, at the bank's Howland branch, and then again $4,000 on Jan. 7, 2011, from the Boardman branch.
Because First Place Bank does not mail customers monthly statements on CD accounts, Mirabelli said she found about the withdrawals only when she received notice April 27 that her CD was about to mature.
When she began checking into the matter, she said she was told the withdrawals were done with her signature. Bank security video footage shows Mirabelli did do banking at the Howland bank branch Nov. 23, 2010. Mirabelli, a Delphi retiree, maintains, however, that she was handling financial issues involving her mother's estate and did not withdraw money from her CD. Why would she, after all? She had more than $2,500 in another more liquid bank account that would not have led to an early withdrawal penalty, she said.
As for the Boardman withdrawal, Mirabelli maintains she never has visited that office, and she says the bank has been unable to produce any video footage showing Mirabelli at the Boardman office on Jan. 7, 2011. Copies of a withdrawal receipt signed in Boardman and later provided to Mirabelli show what she believes is a forged signature.
''I want my money,'' Mirabelli said. ''They should figure out who took the money. I did not take it."
Howland police began looking into the matter shortly after Mirabelli filed a police report there June 8 on the advice of the bank. She has not filed a report in Boardman because she says she was never in that office, and it should be the bank's responsibility to pursue the matter.
But it's that security department that has only added to Mirabelli's frustration. She says she has left nearly a dozen messages for the bank's investigator since they last spoke July 18, but says she has never received a return message.
Mirabelli has now contacted an attorney who has attempted to question bank officials about the status of the case, and she has filed a complaint with the bank's regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, but so far neither has been successful.
Mirabelli said she probably would not consider filing a claim for the loss against her homeowner's insurance.
''I would think the bank would have replaced the money by now," Mirabelli said, pointing out she has been a long-standing customer at the bank for decades. "It's been a nightmare because it's been hanging over my head."