If the Bank mistakenly put 3 million in your account would you tell!

by Witness 007 25 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • mrsjones5
  • OnTheWayOut

    As much as I would like to withdraw the cash and just live on that, I don't think I could.
    I couldn't stay in the U.S. or other places I would want to be without either living covertly or leaving a paper trail.
    It's not really me to live on the lamb on cash.

    You cannot rent or buy a car and register it without giving away your location, you cannot travel without identification. I would have to establish myself somewhere. I might move the cash to a savings account in another bank and give it back when they ask. "Why didn't you tell us about the mistake?" "I didn't want to get someone fired for such a mistake in this tough economy. Here's your money."

    Twenty-five to twenty years ago, I might have disappeared with the money.

  • mkr32208

    I don't know if it IS the equivalent of robbing the bank! I think legaly it is a loan. I'll bet a sharp lawyer looks at the overdraft paperwork and gets them off! I mean when the bank gives an over draft it is a loan. Admittedly a SMALL loan but it is STILL a loan, and usually subject to the exact same terms and conditions as a normal bank loan. If the bank puts in 10 million instead of $10 it is STILL a loan so I would have hauled ass to a lawyer and said 'can I consider this a loan?' If he says yes I would grab the money and say 'I'll pay you back when I can!' and go go go go!

    When the money ran out I would just declare bankruptcy...

  • mrsjones5

    Sorry but you're wrong. Even though the bank made the mistake, taking the money is still theft (it wasn't their money to run off with)...worst than shoplifting a bag of chips


  • John Doe
    John Doe
    I don't know if it IS the equivalent of robbing the bank! I think legaly it is a loan.

    Nope. You're wrong. If someone mistakenly parked their vehicle on your property, would you think that makes it yours?

  • mkr32208

    No guys I used to WRITE overdraft loans. They were credit based LINES OF CREDIT. If you overdraw your account by $100 then the bank gives you a short term LOAN for the amount if you over draw by $19 or $48 or $50000 it's all the same the bank extends you CREDIT to cover the overage it's a LOAN from the bank. There are payment terms and conditions just like any other loan. If they bank intended to loan them $10 and instead loaned them 10 million it is STILL technically a loan.

    If they just mistakenly put the 10 in their account on a deposit or even just a bank error it's covered by different laws and conditions.

    I'll bet that if this is an NSF situation as it was described that they get off. I've got $10 says I'm right (NOT 10 million!)

  • mkr32208

    We actually had this happen with our NSF's for a much smaller amount (about 7500) when I worked for Barnett bank and the person took the money and the bank drew up a repayment plan and the person paid it back over about 3 years.

    If this was just a banking error where you go to the atm and see 10 million you better not take it but a loan is a loan is a loan and the bank telling the judge 'yeah but we gave them a larger loan than we meant to...' Well I've never heard of any bank winning that fight. I'm sure it happens but not in this case.

    Now the facts may have gotten skewed here but if the story happened as REPORTED my 10 still says they get off!

    (somehow my single post became two in the posting!)

  • snowbird

    Of course I would tell!

    No way I would try to keep the money.


  • John Doe
    John Doe

    mkr, you're missing the fact that your bank chose to consider the money a loan, no doubt to cover their asses. After checking, there are numerous cases where mistaken deposits have been made. When a person takes the mistaken depost and uses it, this is a crime known as missapporpriation of lost property, and it is a theft. Here are excerpts from one simple case for your perusal.

    People v. Corpstein 2004 WL 2526449

    Statement of Facts
    Because appellant waived a jury trial and agreed to submit the case to the court based on the preliminary hearing transcript, the exhibits, the police reports and other documents introduced by the prosecution, the following facts are taken from those documents. In 1995, appellant and his mother had a joint bank account with the First National Bank of Marin (First National). The account served as collateral for a secured Visa card, and appellant and his mother deposited $200 as a guarantee against exceeding the card's $400 limit.
    On August 25, 1995, First National received a $90,000 certificate of deposit wire transfer for the Corps of Engineers Employees Federal Credit Union. The $90,000 was inadvertently deposited into appellant's secured Visa account instead of the Corps of Engineers' account because the first letters of appellant's last name and the Corps of Engineers came up in a similar fashion on the computer.
    On September 29, 1995, appellant withdrew $5,000 of the Corps' funds from his account in the form of a cashier's check payable to “Roy Corpstein” and deposited it into his personal bank account with the Travis Federal Credit Union. Three days later, appellant returned to the bank and withdrew $18,000 of the Corps' funds in the form of a cashier's check payable to “Roy Corpstein,” which he deposited into his business savings account at Sierra West Bank. Appellant then opened a new checking account at First National and transferred $65,928.02, the remaining balance of the Corps' funds, into his new account.
    First National discovered the erroneous deposit in an audit on December 15, 1995. A First National representative called appellant that same day and informed him of the mistaken deposit . Appellant responded, “I have no comment.” First National sent appellant a letter on December 20, 1995, demanding repayment of the misappropriated funds, which went unanswered.
    At one point, the case was referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for investigation, since the Corp of Engineers is a federal agency and the monies had been wired to First National through the federal banking system. When the FBI failed to follow through because the amount was too small for federal prosecution, it was referred back to the San Rafael Police in December 1997. The police reopened their investigation. Numerous attempts by the bank as well as law enforcement to contact and interview appellant were futile. In 1998, the San Rafael Police discovered appellant had left California and moved to Grants Pass, Oregon. A warrant was issued for appellant's arrest, and he was arrested in April 2001 when he attempted to purchase a handgun in Oregon. FN2

    FN2. There is discrepancy in the record as to when the warrant for appellant's arrest was issued. Some record references indicate it was issued on December 29, 1999, other record references indicate it was issued on December 31, 1998, and still other references indicate it was issued on January 5, 1999. Unfortunately, a photocopy of the actual warrant is not included in the record.



    A. Substantial Evidence Supports the Grand Theft Conviction
    *2 Appellant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction for grand theft based on the misappropriation of $90,000 erroneously deposited in his account.
    Appellant begins his challenge by arguing that there was insufficient evidence to support a theft conviction under the theories of larceny, larceny by trick, theft by false pretenses, or embezzlement. To be sure, section 484 defines a number of different varieties of theft as one crime. Appellant acknowledges that the theft statutes were consolidated for charging purposes, and that a charge of theft in an information also encompasses section 485, theft by misappropriation of lost property. “[A] judgment of conviction of theft, based on a general verdict of guilty, can be sustained only if the evidence discloses the elements of one of the consolidated offenses. [Citation.]” (People v. Ashley (1954) 42 Cal.2d 246, 258, italics added; People v. Schramling (1987) 192 Cal.App.3d 989, 993;People v. Martin (1957) 153 Cal.App.2d 275, 284.) Consequently, if there is factual support for appellant's conviction for theft under the theory of misappropriation of lost property, it is beside the point that other theories subsumed within the general category of theft in section 484 are unsupported.
    As explained in People v. Dubrin (1965) 232 Cal.App.2d 674, “Where one, through mistake, receives money to which he is not entitled he becomes the trustee of that money for the benefit of the one justly entitled to it. [Citations.] ... One who fraudulently appropriates property that has been entrusted to him is guilty of a theft. (Pen.Code, § 484.)” ( Id. at pp. 678-679; see also People v. Newman (1975) 49 Cal.App.3d 426, 430.)
    The elements of the crime of theft by misappropriation of lost property are: (1) a person finds lost property; (2) the circumstances give that person knowledge or means of inquiry as to the true owner; (3) the person fails to make reasonable and just efforts to find and restore the property to the owner; and (4) the person appropriates the property to his own use or to the use of another not entitled to use the property. (§ 485.)
    Appellant raises three challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction for misappropriation of lost funds under section 485. Specifically, he contends the evidence was insufficient to show he was the individual who withdrew the misappropriated funds from his account, he had the requisite knowledge that the property was “lost,” or he withdrew the funds without first making “reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him.” (§ 485.) On appeal we are directed to view the evidence in a light most favorable to respondent and to presume the existence of any fact the trier could have reasonably deduced from the evidence in support of the judgment. (People v. Johnson (1980) 26 Cal.3d 557, 576.)
    We find the evidence fully supports the trial court's finding that appellant intentionally misappropriated money belonging to the Corps of Engineers that had been erroneously deposited into his account. The uncontroverted evidence shows that a joint account with a small balance was set up by appellant and his mother for a particular purpose-to serve as collateral for a secured Visa card. The Visa card had a $400 dollar limit and required a deposit of $200 be maintained in the account as collateral for the card. There is substantial evidence which would support a conviction on the theory that once appellant discovered that the account balance was artificially inflated to $90,000, appellant made a decision to secretly retain the excess funds by deliberately diverting money to two other existing bank accounts held in his name, as well as deliberately diverting the remaining funds into a new bank account opened in his name. Rather than notifying the bank of the error, the bank only learned of the error two months later following an internal audit.
    *3 In challenging the trial court's implied finding that appellant was the person who misappropriated the funds, appellant stresses that three different bank employees were unable to identify him in a photo lineup.FN3 Nevertheless, the court had before it various documents utilized in detecting and tracing the misappropriated funds which all bore appellant's signature-such as signature cards, account records, and endorsements on the cashier's checks-establishing that it was appellant who engaged in the deliberate misappropriation of the $90,000 certificate of deposit to his own use. Appellant does not offer an explanation why an unidentified third party would divert money into appellant's existing accounts and would deposit $65,928.02 into a new account in appellant's name.
    FN3. Appellant's argument appears to rest on the premise that the eyewitness identification by the bank tellers was a crucial linchpin in the prosecution's case, as they would be expected to be able to identify appellant as being the person who entered into various transactions designed to divert the money from the checking account. This premise does not survive scrutiny. The more likely explanation for the tellers' inability to identify appellant was the sporadic and routine nature of appellant's appearances at their place of business, which would make pinpointing any one customer difficult.
    In addition, there is evidence that after it became apparent that appellant had misappropriated money from the bank account, he resisted attempts to collect the overpayments made to him and eventually evaded prosecution by leaving California. These facts are sufficient to lead a person of ordinary caution or prudence to believe appellant had misappropriated lost property in violation of section 485.
  • BurnTheShips

    You wouldn't be able to keep it even if you wanted to. The bank would eventually find the mistake, probably "pretty damn quick." Besides, living the rest of your life looking over your shoulder is not worth it.


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