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Couple must return $120,000 after bank error prompted spending spree

The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,161
What of the opposite? What if someone made a clerical mistake and zeroed out this couple's balance. Would the bank not have to give them the money back? Or is that different because only one couple is harmed a lot, as opposed to thousands of customers harmed a little?

The most obvious thing here is that you give it back. And the couple knew they were up to no good.

I think the most interesting part of this would be if the bank deposited $120,000 into your account, and then you put that into a conservative growth investment, some sort of high liquidity bond that you could take it out from, would you get to keep the interest...?

You realize when someone steals from a bank that the people with said money in bank are not going to literally lose their money because it’s insured by FDIC and I’m pretty sure this money was more of a clerical error if anything so if anything the only ones who lost money are the bank. The error is completely on the bank.
The FDIC is funded by tax payers

Otherwise losses like this are probably paid by private insurance, which is passed onto other customers of the bank in interest rates, fees, and other financial charges/products.

The primary error is on the bank, of course, but it happens. The bank is not running a lottery. If banks could get away with just gifting people hundreds of thousands of dollars and then saying "Oops! Well, our loss, your gain, enjoy the free money!" and then just write it off as a loss, ping the FDIC or private insurance to fulfill the loss at no cost, it'd be a ... massive, massive front for money laundering and fraud.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,909
The primary error is on the bank, of course, but it happens. The bank is not running a lottery. If banks could get away with just gifting people hundreds of thousands of dollars and then saying "Oops! Well, our loss, your gain, enjoy the free money!" and then just write it off as a loss, ping the FDIC or private insurance to fulfill the loss at no cost, it'd be a ... massive, massive front for money laundering and fraud.
Like ‘07?

(JK, only semi serious, I couldn’t resist)
 

Donos

Member
Nov 15, 2017
2,688
People here posting that spending the money is okay because bank fucked up crack me up.

It's not a question op, almost everybody besides idiots or kids would know that's it's a mistake and not touch the money.
 

Ron Mexico

Member
Oct 25, 2017
462
This made the rounds a couple days ago through some banking-related things I read.

Some highlights based on reading the thread:

1) Any interest you would get on this money would be deducted right back out. Ultimately the account history would look like nothing ever happened.

2) FDIC doesn’t mean what you think it does. It relates to a bank going insolvent only.

3) Depending on how the transaction was done, the bank would have a LONG time to collect/correct the error. Years ago my branch had an endorsement issue that came back nearly 5 years later. “Only” $13k but still a massive amount. Other things like reclamations are the same.

4) Ducking the bank contact was where things went south. I still strongly believe this gets quietly settled via payment arrangements down the line.
 

killerrin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,805
Toronto
If the reverse was true and the bank debited them 120k they would be asking for it back plus damages and it will be all over the media with their crying faces about being bankrupted etc.

So yeah the bank error is not their money .
No, because in this case it would be the bank initiating the withdrawl. Now if it was them putting 120k into the banks account, then the example would work.
 

IDreamOfHime

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,955
Closest thing to happen to me was when I worked at Pizza Hut. I fucking hated it and walked out during my 2nd week. Seems no one noticed and I got a call from the manager near the end of the month saying that I would be getting 5 weeks pay by mistake and could I give the extra back?
I waited like another month and never heard back from them again...

...so I bought a PS2 and a new TV 🤷‍♂️
 

Dekuman

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,431
Well, yes, since that would also be the bank’s error.
Correct and the bank would be required at minimum to make things right by reversing overdraft charges or any other penalties due to insufficient funds. Because harm was done.

An error in favor of the account holder doesn't entail the same outcome. If the money wasn't spent it would have been corrected no harm no foul. They spent the cash then ceased communication. That would be like the bank taking 120k from someone then not responding
 

U2NUMB

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,321
Last year I went to check my balance and had +10k sitting there.. a deposit I did not recognize. That day I drove to the bank and notified them... the teller had quite the look on their face as they dug into it and found the person who deposited the funds transposed 2 numbers...

The funny thing is this actually caused me issues.. because I was in the process of buying a home and my statement showed the deposit and withdraw in 24 hours...and of course it was one of the statements I had to send in for the home buying process. It was difficult to get the bank to admit the error to my mortgage company... what a pain.

Maybe I should have spent it..... :)
 

TaySan

Member
Dec 10, 2018
4,796
Obviously the couple are at fault and are clearly bad with money.
But i don't care for the state of affairs of banks lol
 

Praxis

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,476
UK
I'm not going to judge people, no matter how stupid, for trying to get one over on a fucking bank.
 

SpaceCrystal

Member
Apr 1, 2019
922
...I mean you have to be a complete MORON to spend money that has dropped into your account if you have no idea where it came from.
Exactly. This is on the couple for not going back to the bank & notify them that they made an error.

Good luck trying to pay them back that kind of money, unless they win the lottery or something.

Because the bank fucked up and now are going to ruin these peoples lives. If they can't get back all the money they spent they are fucked, not because they stole money but because the bank made a mistake.
But it's that couple's job to notify the bank about it. If they had, they wouldn't be in such hot water right now.
 
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samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,909
Saul would show them how to actually steal it not just spend it like idiots
I would advise against attempting to defraud banks, not because I care about protecting this institution, but because it goes very badly for you if they catch up to you (and they always will, the law is designed in their favor).

Reminds me a lot of this case: https://www.resetera.com/threads/man-sentenced-to-prison-after-discovering-glitch-allowing-him-to-redeem-ebay-gift-cards-over-and-over-to-the-tune-of-320-000.140208/

In general you can expect that if you spend someone else's money, if you don't repay it, it will go bad for you. On the other hand, if someone royally fucks up and does an online shop glitch like the Amazon glitch this year, Amazon can't (and won't want to) go after everyone who abuses the glitch, so you can get away with that. You can't hide from the law on your own but you can hide from the law with sufficient numbers to dissuade any kind of punitive action.
 

caliph95

Member
Oct 25, 2017
21,217
I would advise against attempting to defraud banks, not because I care about protecting this institution, but because it goes very badly for you if they catch up to you (and they always will, the law is designed in their favor).

Reminds me a lot of this case: https://www.resetera.com/threads/man-sentenced-to-prison-after-discovering-glitch-allowing-him-to-redeem-ebay-gift-cards-over-and-over-to-the-tune-of-320-000.140208/

In general you can expect that if you spend someone else's money, if you don't repay it, it will go bad for you. On the other hand, if someone royally fucks up and does an online shop glitch like the Amazon glitch this year, Amazon can't (and won't want to) go after everyone who abuses the glitch, so you can get away with that. You can't hide from the law on your own but you can hide from the law with sufficient numbers to dissuade any kind of punitive action.
I wasn't being serious (HEAR THAT FBI)
 

Matt

The Terror that Flaps in the Night
Moderator
Oct 24, 2017
2,455
This happened to me once, but it was $1.2 million dollars.

I’m not kidding.
 

stan_marsh

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,245
Canada
This happened to my mom when I was a teenager, it was around $100,000

She didn't touch a single cent of it and contacted the bank right away.
 

Gpsych

Member
May 20, 2019
58
Closest thing to happen to me was when I worked at Pizza Hut. I fucking hated it and walked out during my 2nd week. Seems no one noticed and I got a call from the manager near the end of the month saying that I would be getting 5 weeks pay by mistake and could I give the extra back?
I waited like another month and never heard back from them again...

...so I bought a PS2 and a new TV 🤷‍♂️
This essentially happened to me at one point. I worked on an 11 month contract at a place and changed to a 12 month the following year. Once I switched, I received a paycheck for the 12th month from the previous year as “back pay” even though I didn’t actually work that month. I called payroll and told them the story, but I literally was unable to get them to understand what had happened. The kept saying, “Don’t worry about it, this is money we owe you.” Finally, I just said screw it and bought a new fridge.
 

SapientWolf

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,969
They could have sold half the loot and still made the payments by investing the cash. Instead they ghosted the bank. They literally did everything they could to go to prison.
 

PHOENIXZERO

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,912
I saw this earlier, you have to be incredibly stupid, naive or desperate to not know NOT to spend that money.

Might as well taken it to a casino in Vegas and put it all on black.
 

whytemyke

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
1,255
Wonder if they just tried saying "Finders keepers" and then walking away? I bet that would work in this situation.
 

RedMercury

Member
Dec 24, 2017
8,268
What of the opposite? What if someone made a clerical mistake and zeroed out this couple's balance. Would the bank not have to give them the money back?
Sure, when they got around to it.
But it's that couple's job to notify the bank about it. If they had, they wouldn't be in such hot water right now.
Why is it the average person's responsibility to do the job of financial institutions, is this a paying job, because if not, fuck em.
 

Nubzcake

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
239

NinjaScooter

Member
Oct 25, 2017
21,300
If you wake up one morning to find that your bank has mistakenly deposited $120,000 into your account, and your very first phone call isn't to the bank, you're a fucking moron.
 

blame space

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,488
when banks make a mistake, it's a mistake, you should give it back. when people make a mistake, they are stupid, they deserved to lose money.
 

Happy Bivouac

Member
Oct 30, 2017
304
when banks make a mistake, it's a mistake, you should give it back. when people make a mistake, they are stupid, they deserved to lose money.
This is the sentiment I'm seeing in this thread, yes.

Like if I make a dumb mistake that costs me a large sum of money, will you see the law racing to have me reimbursed? No, but when a bank makes a $120k mistake, oh no! Won't somebody think of the poor, poor, bank! Sure these people are morons, but they're only morons for not knowing how badly the entire legal system is rigged against them in favor of the banks and the rich and powerful.

Imagine if the law would say "hey, you are a fucking bank. Try not to make 120,000 dollar mistakes."
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
2,379
Actually, you're right. It's not their responsibility to tell them. At the same time, it's on you to not spend money that you know isn't yours.
Well it actually is their responsibility. Most jurisdictions require you to make a reasonable effort to find the owner of mislaid property.
In this case there is no question to whom the property belonged to from the get go.