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Indianapolis Church Sues Bank Over Mismanaged Trust Funds

Indy church

Photo: Huw Williams

Church Attorney Pence said this is not a case of investors losing money, but of mismanaged financial assets.

A historic downtown Indianapolis church has filed a multi-million dollar federal lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase.

Christ Church Cathedral alleges the banking giant mismanaged church trusts to the tune of 13 million dollars. They also say JP Morgan Chase used church funds deemed by philanthropist Eli Lilly to buy investments from itself on behalf of the church.

Church Attorney Linda Pence said mismanagement happened over a 10 year period and involved two church funds.

“This is breach of trust, this isn’t just selling a financial product that may or may not go wrong,” Pence said. “This is a trustee that is supposed to make a decision. Are each one of these investments the best investment I can buy?”

Church Dean Stephen Carlsen said the activity has led to church budget tightening and layoffs, and that the lawsuit filed Wednesday is a last ditch attempt at resolution.

Pence said Chase has about 20 days to respond to the suit.

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