Islamic Name? US Banks May Not Want Your Business
(This article first appeared in WhoWhatWhy News)
“I regret to inform you…”
Late last May, Reniya Manukyan, the widow of IbragimTodashev, publicly disputed a claim by the FBI that her dead husband was a murderer. Two months later, Manukyan received a letter from her bank informing her that her personal account was being cancelled. She had a month to withdraw her money.
Her “offense”? Neither the bank nor the FBI will say.
Manukyan was widowed May 22 by seven bullets fired into Todashev under suspicious circumstances by an FBI agent while he was being held and interrogated in his Florida apartment by several agents and Massachusetts State Police troopers.
The FBI subsequently claimed Todashev, along with alleged Boston Marathon bomber TamerlanTsarnaev, had slain three drug dealers in a grisly 2011 murder in Waltham, Mass.
But Manukyan provided an alibi for her dead spouse: bank records of purchases he had made in Atlanta on Sept. 11, 2011, the day of the killing.
After she revealed publicly that she had those records, Manukyan received a bizarre communication from her Atlanta bank. The message, mailed on August 28, 2013, informed her bluntly that her account was being cancelled. No reason was given.
In a “Dear Client”letter, SunTrust banking officer June Mansonhing wrote:
“I regret to inform you that SunTrust is no longer able to provide the financial services you require. As a result, we ask that you immediately close your accounts.
"SunTrust continuously reviews its products, markets and client relationships to ensure that we are able to provide the best possible client service while also meeting our corporate business objectives. There are circumstances where the company will identify a specific account relationship that no longer meets these criteria. In the best interest of our clients and SunTrust, the company will request that those accounts be closed...”
An Attempt to Block Evidence?
SunTrust’s Mansonhing refused to answer questions when WhoWhatWhy called her for an explanation. She said she couldn’t talk about client accounts. She hung up when she was asked to explain the company’s general policy about terminating accounts and whether the bank had received a request from the FBI to close any account. She did not answer when we called back.
Likewise, the FBI did not return several calls requesting information about whether it had sought to have Manukyan’s account closed...