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A Chicago area attorney found $30,000 taken from her bank account. "What happened?"

Chicago area attorney was shocked to see $30,000 taken from her bank account
Chicago area attorney was shocked to see $30,000 taken from her bank account 03:46

CHICAGO (CBS) – A real estate transaction that never went through resurfaced months later in a shocking way.

It's a good lesson about whom to trust with your financial information.

The number of times that money passes in and out of Ebony Lucas' bank account each week could make one's head spin.

"I am a real estate attorney, so I help people when they're buying and selling homes," Lucas said.

One home sale could involve several transactions. Her law firm also has business expenses.

But one day, her company bank account showed several subtraction signs.

"I went to do payroll, there was no money and I was like, 'What happened?'" she said.

The debits added up to more than $30,000. Lucas said she knew it wasn't because of her and that the numbers weren't accurate. She immediately contacted the police and filed a fraud claim with Chase Bank, and then launched her own investigation. 

The initial charges were for a company called Flagship Credit, Lucas said. She discovered on a call with that company that the repeated transactions were car payments. A closer look revealed a customer's name: McNary.

"I was like, 'Let me just check and see if this is anybody that's ever emailed me,'" Lucas said.

She found the email. Mr. McNary was part of a September 2023 home sale that never panned out.

Lucas said once her company gave McNary instructions for wiring with the law firm's full routing and bank account numbers, he "disappeared."

"Three days later, he charged my account for his vehicle," Lucas said. "So I found a phone number, gave him a call and said, 'Hi, this is Ebony Lucas. You've been stealing money out of my bank account.'"

CBS 2 was able to get in touch with McNary too, but he declined to comment.

Lucas did show CBS 2 text messages where McNary agreed to "wire or transfer the funds" back to her. She said they even arranged to meet at Chase Bank but he never showed.

McNary asked CBS 2 for proof his name was on Ebony's bank transactions, then he called back and tried to say his last name wasn't McNary. It's important to know he did answer CBS 2's first call responding to the name "Mr. McNary."

Still, McNary refused to do a Zoom interview.

It turned out another woman's name was also on Lucas' bank transactions for more than $12,000 worth of bills paid to Discover, Home Depot, and Floor and Décor. The woman, who asked her name not be published, said she had dated McNary.

"I was working on a project," she said. "And he was the general contractor for me working on that project."

The woman said she trusted McNary when she was asked to add his payment information to her Home Depot account.

"Because him and I were in a relationship, he said, 'I'll just help you pay for it. Don't worry about it. I have money," the woman said.

She added she thought McNary was being nice. It turned out it was actually Lucas who was unknowingly financing the bills.

In the meantime, the attorney, who is used to fighting for people's money, took action.

"I filed a lawsuit," Lucas said.

In a statement, Chase Bank said:

"We are working closely with our customer to dispute these charges on their behalf. Consumers should regularly monitor their account statements for suspicious transactions and notify us right away by calling the number on the back of their debit card. To learn how to securely add and manage payees, visit"  

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