The wife of a former Missouri State Representative has filed a lawsuit against Central Bank of Kansas City for alleged fraud.

Silvia Russu filed a lawsuit Jan. 10 in the Circuit Court for Jackson County, accusing the $144 million-asset bank of misrepresenting paperwork that led her to personally back a $358,818 consolidation loan that five lines of credit previously taken out by her husband, Henry Rizzo.

Rizzo "believed that the purpose of the meeting was to execute documents that pledged her interest in properties that would serve as collateral for a loan for Henry Rizzo's business interests," the lawsuit claims. "Rather than fully disclosing all material facts.... [the bank] acted with fraudulent intent to induce [Susan Rizzo] to enter into a co-borrower relationship."

The lawsuit also claims that the bank violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act by requiring her to act as a co-borrower on her husband's loan based on her marital status.

The consolidated loan and a related pre-existing loan went into default last year. Central Bank then seized the Rizzos' assets, including five properties jointly owned by the couple and an $89,749 certificate of deposit. The lawsuit alleges that the bank was not entitled to the assets because the consolidation loan was illegally obtained.

Susan Rizzo is seeking more than $75,000 in damages. Her lawyer, Patrick McInerney, and a Central Bank spokeswoman declined to comment.

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