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Alert 2006-17 | April 4, 2006

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks and Fraudulent Lottery- and Loan-related Correspondence: Counterfeit Cashier's Checks of Pinnacle National Bank, Nashville, TN Fraudulent Lottery and Loan Correspondence


Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks; All State Banking Authorities; Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Director, Office of Thrift Supervision; Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Deputy Comptrollers (districts); Assistant Deputy Comptrollers; District Counsel; and All Examining Personnel

The above-named bank has reported two separate types of fraudulent activity involving the name of Pinnacle National Bank.

The primary type activity involves counterfeit cashier’s checks issued in the bank’s name and using a correct routing number of 064008637 that are being presented nationwide for payment.

The counterfeit checks may be identified by the following: a standard check stock that is light blue in color with a white background. The bank name and logo “Pinnacle National Bank” is located in the upper-left corner of the check. The name “Pinnacle” is also the bank’s logo, as it contains a white slash through the letter “P.” All counterfeit items presented to date contain the word “Finance” in the memo line; are dated February 24, 2006; are signed by Carol Bargatze; and are made payable in the amount of $4,600.00.

Authentic cashier’s checks issued by the bank are also light blue in color with a white background; however, they are printed on “safeguard” paper, which show the words “void” and “Pinnacle” when photocopied. The bank’s name and logo “Pinnacle National Bank” is located in the upper-left corner of the check, and the check amount that appears in the center portion of the check is actually engraved into the instrument.

The second type activity involves fraudulent letters related to either lottery winnings or loan processing approvals. These letters, which contain Pinnacle National Bank’s letterhead and logo, are being mailed to potential victims along with counterfeit cashier’s checks drawn on other financial institutions. Both are variations of up-front fee scams. The return address contained within the letters is “1900 Brunswick Street, Halifax, NS Canada B3J2F7” and is not that of Pinnacle National Bank. The letters are signed by a Mr. Chamberlin Duke, contain a contact number of (902) 412-1790 and a contact email address of [pf]. When the telephone number is dialed, a voicemail system answers and indicates that the caller has reached Pinnacle Financial Partners. Callers must leave a message for a return call. These packages are being mailed from Canada, which is evidenced by the postmark contained on the envelopes.

For additional information and guidance or to verify the authenticity of Pinnacle National Bank’s cashier’s checks, please contact Linda Seiber, Deposit Operations Manager, Pinnacle National Bank, 211 Commerce Street, Suite 300, Nashville, TN 37211, by telephone at (615) 744-3288, by fax at (615) 744-3298, or via email at [].

Additional information concerning this matter that you believe should be brought to the attention of the OCC may be forwarded to:

Mail: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Enforcement & Compliance Division, MS 8-10
250 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20219
Fax: (202) 874-5301

For additional information regarding other types of financial fraud, please visit the OCC's anti-fraud resource page.


Daniel P. Stipano
Deputy Chief Counsel