Pastor Accused In Case Of Mistaken Identity

State Police posted a photo of Pastor Jeffrey Edwards on its Facebook page, stating "State Police Seeking Public's Assistance with Identifying Man Depositing Fraudulent Checks" This post was posted on July 9, 2018

Jeff Edwards, Pastor Parsippany United Methodist Church

PARSIPPANY — Jeff Edwards, Pastor Accused In Case Of Mistaken Identity, was featured on Channel 2 News.

As reported in Parsippany Focus on March 19, 2019 (click here) Pastor Jeffrey Edwards, Parsippany United Methodist Church, filed in Morris County Superior Court on Thursday, March 14 a Civil Action Complaint against Wells Fargo & Company, Wells Fargo, N.A. and John Does 1-10 and John Doe Entity 1-10. (Docket No. MRS-L-000568-19).

Edwards has served the community for 29 years and both the Church and Edwards has been a customer of Wells Fargo for more than a decade.

State Police recklessly or intentionally, and with malice, arrested Rev. Edwards and charged him with third degree forgery in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1a(2), “by depositing fraudulent checks into a Wells Fargo account while utilizing an ATM located at the Wells Fargo located on Route 46, Parsippany on April 16, 2018. The State Police did so despite the fact that they were in possession of overwhelming evidence of Rev. Edwards’ innocence. They fingerprint Edwards, take his mug shots and gave him a court date. Edwards had to hire a lawyer to go to court. He appeared in court three times because for the first two the State Police failed to provide the information they’ve gathered. Finally on the third trip on January 16, 2019 the judge dismisses the charges.

According to the lawsuit, Edwards is seeking damages from Wells Fargo and the State Police for an inexcusable false arrest, malicious prosecution and humiliation of an innocent man, Rev. Edwards.

“I still have not received apologies from either Wells Fargo or the State Police. The postings with my pictures are still out there online. I am suing both Wells Fargo and the State Police. As a pastor, my work is all based upon my being viewed as trustworthy, and their reckless charges threatened my hard-earned reputation as somebody worthy of peoples’ trust,” continued Edwards.

“The carelessness of both Wells Fargo and the State Police is kind of appalling, and I wonder what happens to somebody who might not have the resources to defend themselves,” the pastor said. “I told them yes that was my picture and yes I was in the bank that day. That’s all they needed to arrest me.”