Phoenix family claims bank misplaced money

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PHOENIX – For the Marzellas, family is important. Maria Marzella emigrated years ago from Italy and says she's learned to always put a few dollars away for her family, especially her grandkids Franco and Marissa.

"This is my question right now. I want to know where this money go," Maria tells 3 On Your Side,

Maria says she deposited the money into Bank One nearly a decade ago. Money she says that was eventually supposed to go to her grandson Franco and her granddaughter Marissa.

Maria, says, "I opened this account because I want to make savings for when they big, going to college."

Documents provided by the Marzellas show Maria deposited a small amount of money into two separate Bank One accounts and it eventually accumulated into a couple of hundred dollars apiece.

Down the road, Bank One was absorbed by Chase Bank and from there, Maria and the rest of her family claim the money was lost or misplaced.

"I think it's almost kind of scary, you know? Like you think you'd be able to trust a bank and obviously that's not the case, you know," says Maria's granddaughter Marrisa.

As for the rest of the family, they've called Chase Bank numerous times to inquire about what they say is lost money, but get nowhere.

"Every time, it's a different story that they come up with themselves," Franco says.

He and Marissa say they can really use the money since they're now in college and, considering the length of time the money has compounded interest, they wonder how much the amount really is now.

Even if it's a small amount, the Marzellas say the money should be somewhere. Maria says, "I feel sad because the kids wait for this money."

Usually dormant or old accounts are forwarded to the state where they are kept until the rightful owner steps forward. 3 On Your Side checked with the Arizona Department of Revenue to see if that was the case but no money was found in the Marzellas' name.

I always recommend people go to on an annual basis to input your name to see if any unclaimed money was forwarded to the state. It is similar to a national database for nearly all state revenue departments.

In the meantime, Chase Bank tells 3 On Your Side that they have not given up hope yet and intend on continuing their search for the money.