Wednesday, Oct 22, 2008
At least 30 Chase bank offices across the United States have been targeted by threatening letters, many of them containing an unidentified substance.
An FBI spokesman said at least five Chase branches in Colorado and Oklahoma received the letters on Monday and some contained a white powder.
The spokesman, Rich Kolko, said: “Today we’re well over two dozen. To the best of my knowledge they’re all Chase.”
Mr Kolko declined to characterise the threats but said he was unaware of any connection to recent troubles in the US financial system.
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He said that at this point, tests on the powder are negative for harmful substances, but local laboratories are still testing.
Chase spokesman Tom Kelly said there have been no injuries to bank employees or customers.
Mr Kelly said the FBI, US Postal Inspectors and local authorities are investigating the letters.
The letters have been received at branches in New York, New Jersey, Washington, DC, Illinois, Ohio, Oklahoma, Colorado, Georgia and Texas.
Mr Kolko said: “Even sending a hoax letter is a serious crime.”
JPMorgan Chase & Co last week surpassed Citigroup Inc to became the largest US bank. It has aggressively acquired other assets as the financial system has weakened, including the banking assets of Washington Mutual Inc.