MANHATTAN – In yet another disturbing display of anti-Semitism on the Upper East Side, a Yorkville woman was stunned and angered to find Nazi imagery stamped on a one hundred dollar bill she had just received from an ATM inside a Chase bank in Yorkville.
“I kept staring at it and saying this cannot be right,” Robyn Roth-Moise told Upper East Site just hours after taking $800 out of the Chase bank ATM at East 86th Street and York Avenue at 7:25 am Saturday morning.
“It was a slow motion shock and disbelief,” she said. “If I had not turned the money over I would never have seen the stamps.”
Roth-Moise said she hadn’t looked at the cash until after getting home from the bank— that’s when she noticed the back side of four of the one hundred dollar bills she had received had symbols stamped in blue ink on them— one of them bearing a swastika.
On first glance, another bill appears to be stamped with a Nazi war eagle, as well as other bills stamped with symbols Robyn says looks similar to imagery from the Third Reich.
“Where did you grow up and how did you think this was appropriate?”
Roth-Moise says she went back to Chase bank to turn in the four defaced one hundred dollar bills that been dispensed to her by their ATM, to make sure the bill would be taken out of circulation and to speak with the branch manager.
“They say the Secret Service will probably be notified,” Robyn told Upper East Site on Saturday, and that she was told that the culprit was “probably a local person who stamped them and then deposited them where it gets recycled within the machine.”
Robyn turned to social media where the money stamped with symbols of hate caught the attention of Council Member Julie Menin and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, whose teams are investigating the swastika-stamped cash.
“Hatred of any kind is not welcome in New York City,” Rep. Maloney told Upper East Site.
“I am disgusted by this symbol of hatred and anti-Semitism and am working to get to the bottom of it.”
Council Member Menin added that “anti-Semitism must be called out immediately and won’t be tolerated in any form in our community or city.”
Upper East Site visited the Chase bank at East 86th Street and York Avenue— which is closed due to New York City’s vaccination mandate, according to a sign posted on the door— and found the ATM Robyn had withdrawn the cash from still in service.
In fact, a senior citizen was using the ATM at the time of our visit— though five one hundred dollar bills withdrawn from the machine by us had no stamps on them and had not been defaced.
“I am at a loss as to what is going on in the world,” Roth-Moise explained to Upper East Site.
“How trump has given permission to hate groups to act up and [act] out.”
Over the past year, Upper East Site has documented several instances of anti-Semitic imagery used in hateful displays across our neighborhood— including the use of Holocaust imagery by Covid deniers and anti-vaxxers.
According to FBI hate crime statistics, Jews were the target of 58% of religiously motivated hate crimes in 2020, despite representing a miniscule 2% of the total population.
Late Saturday afternoon, Council Member Menin announced the ATM had been taken out of service while Chase examines the bills inside the machine.
On Tuesday, Chase bank told Upper East Site in a statement, “this is unacceptable. We have shut down the ATM and are investigating.”
Roth-Moise says Chase has not reached out to her as of yet.