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Around the Internet => Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy => Topic started by: markpst on September 08, 2019, 04:43:06 PM

Title: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: markpst on September 08, 2019, 04:43:06 PM
You can guess the result. They pretty much spent it all before the error was discovered and the bank asked for the funds back.


https://local12.com/news/offbeat/bank-transfers-120k-to-wrong-account-couple-charged-for-spending-it
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: solon on September 08, 2019, 08:24:43 PM
Quote
State Police say the Williams bought an SUV, two four-wheelers, a camper, a car trailer, they also used the money on bills, car repairs, cash purchases and even gave $15,000 to friends in need.

These people are unhinged. They're their own worst enemy.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Monerexia on September 08, 2019, 09:48:30 PM
This happened to me when I was about 19 and super-broke--an extra $4000+ appeared in my account. Not gonna lie I did dip into it but luckily was flush when it came out a couple weeks later.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: gooki on September 09, 2019, 04:29:46 AM
Bank error in your favour, move directly to go and collect 200 dollars.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: DadJokes on September 09, 2019, 06:19:17 AM
Bank error in your favour, move directly to go and collect 200 dollars.

Bank realizes that they made bank error in your favor. Go directly to jail. Do not pass go.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: ender on September 09, 2019, 06:40:45 AM
On the one hand, it's incredibly dumb they didn't wonder about whether they should spend the money and instead just spent it.

But on the other hand, I'm a bit incredulous that the bank can transfer money to them and then if they spend it, get felony charges.

Feels like the bank ought to own at least a little bit of their responsibility in this.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: SwordGuy on September 09, 2019, 07:07:48 AM
On the one hand, it's incredibly dumb they didn't wonder about whether they should spend the money and instead just spent it.

But on the other hand, I'm a bit incredulous that the bank can transfer money to them and then if they spend it, get felony charges.

Feels like the bank ought to own at least a little bit of their responsibility in this.

Banks write the laws, not customers.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: partgypsy on September 09, 2019, 07:15:59 AM
I was thinking of posting this, glad someone did. I don't think they should be charged late fees to pay back, since it took the bank WEEKS to even notice. But yeah. I mean if something like that happened to me, the first thing I'd do was call the bank and say what's up? I'd do that before spending it. They acted like if they spent it all before the bank noticed it, they would be able to keep it? Not sure what they were thinking.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: DadJokes on September 09, 2019, 07:24:01 AM
I was thinking of posting this, glad someone did. I don't think they should be charged late fees to pay back, since it took the bank WEEKS to even notice. But yeah. I mean if something like that happened to me, the first thing I'd do was call the bank and say what's up? I'd do that before spending it. They acted like if they spent it all before the bank noticed it, they would be able to keep it? Not sure what they were thinking.

Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Just Joe on September 09, 2019, 07:29:54 AM
Might be fun to leave it alone since we all know the bank will come for it - and spend a few days checking the balance and daydreaming about that money being your's. Sort of like looking at fancy cars you'll never own.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Kazyan on September 09, 2019, 01:39:01 PM
The assignment of responsibility for the mistake and what should-or-shouldn't have happened is an interesting discussion, but more to the point...who gets a $120k windfall and then spends it on cars, cars, car accessories, and cars? Oof.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Shinplaster on September 09, 2019, 02:12:14 PM
Might be fun to leave it alone since we all know the bank will come for it - and spend a few days checking the balance and daydreaming about that money being your's. Sort of like looking at fancy cars you'll never own.

We had $80,000 appear in one of our accounts a couple of years ago.  DH called the bank and told them it wasn't ours.  Of course we didn't spend it, but it was interesting to see how long it took for it to disappear again.  2 months!  For 2 months TD bank misplaced someone else's money, and even after being told, did not correct it.

I think we should have gotten a fee for storing it for them that long.   : )
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: slugline on September 09, 2019, 02:13:30 PM
Not as epic as the overdraft legend of Luke "Milky" Moore of Australia (https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/a19834127/luke-milky-moore-money-glitch/), but still a decent story.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Zamboni on September 09, 2019, 02:13:56 PM
^^^Ummm, everyone! Who doesn't need more cars and cars?!

When I was 17 years old I deposited a $300 check and the bank teller put it in as $30,000. I noticed it on the deposit ticket that night. Sure enough, $30K was in my checking. That amount of money completely freaked me out and I did not spend it. The bank noticed and fixed it shortly thereafter. True story. Glad I didn't buy a couple of cars!
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: DadJokes on September 09, 2019, 02:44:21 PM
Not as epic as the overdraft legend of Luke "Milky" Moore of Australia (https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/a19834127/luke-milky-moore-money-glitch/), but still a decent story.

Wow, that was a crazy read.

I guess I'm a bore, but if I had a massive bank error in my favor, the craziest thing I would think up is to see how much interest I could earn before the bank realized its error.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Zamboni on September 09, 2019, 03:13:37 PM
Hahaha, Milky is my idol.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: theSlowTurtle on September 09, 2019, 03:35:35 PM
Would be great to put it in a CD with that same bank, when they come asking for it say you can have the principal, I will take the interest...feel like you could argue that case and win
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Plugra on September 09, 2019, 06:23:09 PM
Once long ago the bank made a mistake in my favor on my credit card account - giving me a credit when they should have charged me a debit.  I actually wrote them a letter (using a "typewriter" -- google it) explaining their mistake and inviting them to correct it.  Instead they doubled the mistake, so I was now ahead twice.  So I said 'f*** it' and spent the money.

 
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: bacchi on September 09, 2019, 09:41:07 PM
Not as epic as the overdraft legend of Luke "Milky" Moore of Australia (https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/a19834127/luke-milky-moore-money-glitch/), but still a decent story.

Wow, that was a crazy read.

I guess I'm a bore, but if I had a massive bank error in my favor, the craziest thing I would think up is to see how much interest I could earn before the bank realized its error.

You could take advantage of every bank transfer bonus out there.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 10, 2019, 01:08:07 AM
Taking/spending the money is straight up theft.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: marty998 on September 10, 2019, 02:30:09 AM
On the one hand, it's incredibly dumb they didn't wonder about whether they should spend the money and instead just spent it.

But on the other hand, I'm a bit incredulous that the bank can transfer money to them and then if they spend it, get felony charges.

Feels like the bank ought to own at least a little bit of their responsibility in this.

Banks write the laws, not customers.

Most of the banking system is still built on that quaint notion of trust. You abuse that trust and you quickly find that all banks won't want to deal with you.

This couple is going to have an interesting time setting up a new bank account and getting loans when they eventually get out of jail (after not collecting $200). Good luck convincing a bank you're a good credit risk after that one.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: meghan88 on September 10, 2019, 07:47:56 AM
Had a similar thing happen to me on a much smaller scale, in the form of a credit to a credit card.  I called the issuer three times over the next six months to try to get it resolved, and asked them to reverse the credit.  Each time, they thanked me for calling and promised to address it.  About a month after the third time, I gave up, spent the excess $ and closed out the card.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: partgypsy on September 10, 2019, 08:03:39 AM
It's great that the Milky story had a happy ending!
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on September 10, 2019, 08:06:36 AM
On the one hand, it's incredibly dumb they didn't wonder about whether they should spend the money and instead just spent it.

But on the other hand, I'm a bit incredulous that the bank can transfer money to them and then if they spend it, get felony charges.

Feels like the bank ought to own at least a little bit of their responsibility in this.

Banks write the laws, not customers.

Most of the banking system is still built on that quaint notion of trust. You abuse that trust and you quickly find that all banks won't want to deal with you.

This couple is going to have an interesting time setting up a new bank account and getting loans when they eventually get out of jail (after not collecting $200). Good luck convincing a bank you're a good credit risk after that one.

Banks do have a system for sharing information about checking and savings account customers: who's likely to overdraw, which accounts required attention from the loss prevention department, etc. I think it's called "ChexSystems" or some such thing. Kind of like Santa Claus's naughty list but you don't get a do-over the following year.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: partdopy on September 10, 2019, 12:26:29 PM
On the one hand, it's incredibly dumb they didn't wonder about whether they should spend the money and instead just spent it.

But on the other hand, I'm a bit incredulous that the bank can transfer money to them and then if they spend it, get felony charges.

Feels like the bank ought to own at least a little bit of their responsibility in this.

How is it different then if a visitor left their wallet on your coffee table, then you took all the money and spent it?  Technically, they did leave the money in your house, right?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: ender on September 10, 2019, 12:46:21 PM
How is it different then if a visitor left their wallet on your coffee table, then you took all the money and spent it?  Technically, they did leave the money in your house, right?

If someone sent me a letter with money in it into my mailbox (instead of my neighbors) then yeah, I'd be a little inclined to say the sender had some responsibility in putting it into the wrong mailbox.

Then charge me with a felony.

This couple clearly was wrong for spending the money. But acting as if a bank has zero responsibility for their side of the mistake seems... wrong. For me, seeing that the couple is charged with a felony indicates that the bank (and law...) feels no responsibility rests with the bank for the problem.



Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: SwordGuy on September 10, 2019, 01:32:12 PM
How is it different then if a visitor left their wallet on your coffee table, then you took all the money and spent it?  Technically, they did leave the money in your house, right?

If someone sent me a letter with money in it into my mailbox (instead of my neighbors) then yeah, I'd be a little inclined to say the sender had some responsibility in putting it into the wrong mailbox.

Then charge me with a felony.

This couple clearly was wrong for spending the money. But acting as if a bank has zero responsibility for their side of the mistake seems... wrong. For me, seeing that the couple is charged with a felony indicates that the bank (and law...) feels no responsibility rests with the bank for the problem.

Banks rent politicians to write the laws in their favor.

That's why, if they make a mistake they have FOREVER to correct it (if they want to), but if they take money from you by mistake and you don't notice it within a given time period, you have no recourse.  They get to keep it.

Banks have zero interest in fairness except as a p/r stunt.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: DadJokes on September 10, 2019, 01:53:01 PM
How is it different then if a visitor left their wallet on your coffee table, then you took all the money and spent it?  Technically, they did leave the money in your house, right?

If someone sent me a letter with money in it into my mailbox (instead of my neighbors) then yeah, I'd be a little inclined to say the sender had some responsibility in putting it into the wrong mailbox.

Then charge me with a felony.

This couple clearly was wrong for spending the money. But acting as if a bank has zero responsibility for their side of the mistake seems... wrong. For me, seeing that the couple is charged with a felony indicates that the bank (and law...) feels no responsibility rests with the bank for the problem.

Banks rent politicians to write the laws in their favor.

That's why, if they make a mistake they have FOREVER to correct it (if they want to), but if they take money from you by mistake and you don't notice it within a given time period, you have no recourse.  They get to keep it.

Banks have zero interest in fairness except as a p/r stunt.

It isn't just banks.

The number of pay issues in the military was crazy. DFAS screwed up people's paychecks all the time. If they owe you money, you file paperwork, and it can take weeks to get what you are owed. If you were overpaid, suddenly they have the ability to get things done quickly and pull the money out of your next paycheck.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: ender on September 10, 2019, 02:08:44 PM
Yeah, I think I'm in an unactionable frustration point about the unfairness of that relationship ;-)
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: mm1970 on September 10, 2019, 04:27:41 PM
How is it different then if a visitor left their wallet on your coffee table, then you took all the money and spent it?  Technically, they did leave the money in your house, right?

If someone sent me a letter with money in it into my mailbox (instead of my neighbors) then yeah, I'd be a little inclined to say the sender had some responsibility in putting it into the wrong mailbox.

Then charge me with a felony.

This couple clearly was wrong for spending the money. But acting as if a bank has zero responsibility for their side of the mistake seems... wrong. For me, seeing that the couple is charged with a felony indicates that the bank (and law...) feels no responsibility rests with the bank for the problem.

Banks rent politicians to write the laws in their favor.

That's why, if they make a mistake they have FOREVER to correct it (if they want to), but if they take money from you by mistake and you don't notice it within a given time period, you have no recourse.  They get to keep it.

Banks have zero interest in fairness except as a p/r stunt.

It isn't just banks.

The number of pay issues in the military was crazy. DFAS screwed up people's paychecks all the time. If they owe you money, you file paperwork, and it can take weeks to get what you are owed. If you were overpaid, suddenly they have the ability to get things done quickly and pull the money out of your next paycheck.
Ha, that happened when I'd been in the Navy about 6 months.  I added up my first couple of paychecks, and noticed that my VHA was maxed out, but my rent suggested that it should not be maxed out.  I asked MilPers and they said "Oh, I'm sure that they are just maxing you out, you are fine!"  Are you sure?  I mean, my rent is $308 a month, and my VHA+other housing is $750, and that's too much?  "We are sure!"

Yeah, a few months later, as I'm getting ready to transfer to school, I get the letter: "Hey, we've been overpaying you for over 6 months!"  Ya think?  "Would you like us to take the $900 out all at once or over a 6 month period?"  How about over 6 months, as $900 was more than a paycheck.  That worked for 1 month, then I moved to my new duty station, and my first paycheck there was $0.00.  Luckily I'd just gotten my tax refund. 
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: PDXTabs on September 10, 2019, 04:40:56 PM
But on the other hand, I'm a bit incredulous that the bank can transfer money to them and then if they spend it, get felony charges.

Right? If the cops did this it would be called it entrapment.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Guizmo on September 10, 2019, 09:06:11 PM
One time I was offered a job at say 60,000 a year. I tried to negotiate but they said take it or leave. After I get my first paycheck I realized they are paying me 4k more per year than we had agreed. I called to let them know so they could fix it. I sent emails. But they never fixed it. 3 years later all my raises have been based on the extra 4k mistake that never should have been.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: BTDretire on September 10, 2019, 09:08:48 PM
If you spend $100,000 that you know is not your money, you should expect felony charges.
 They got what they deserved. They're idiots.

 My bank story, early in our marriage, (1980s) I made a deposit and the teller ask, "do your want your balance?"
 I said "sure", she slid a piece of paper over, it was a little over $12,000. I said, "that's not correct!: She assured me it was.
I said it's about $10,000 to much, she ask, "are you sure your wife did make a deposit?" I said" yes, I'm pretty sure!"
I didn't argue about it anymore and about 4 days later I got a letter saying "deposit in error, $10,400".
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 10, 2019, 11:01:14 PM
How is it different then if a visitor left their wallet on your coffee table, then you took all the money and spent it?  Technically, they did leave the money in your house, right?

If someone sent me a letter with money in it into my mailbox (instead of my neighbors) then yeah, I'd be a little inclined to say the sender had some responsibility in putting it into the wrong mailbox.

Then charge me with a felony.

This couple clearly was wrong for spending the money. But acting as if a bank has zero responsibility for their side of the mistake seems... wrong. For me, seeing that the couple is charged with a felony indicates that the bank (and law...) feels no responsibility rests with the bank for the problem.

Banks rent politicians to write the laws in their favor.

That's why, if they make a mistake they have FOREVER to correct it (if they want to), but if they take money from you by mistake and you don't notice it within a given time period, you have no recourse.  They get to keep it.

Banks have zero interest in fairness except as a p/r stunt.

And yet, despite all this, banks still loan you lots of money at a rate barely above inflation (in fact given that my loan is deductible, my interest rate on my mortgage is BELOW inflation), give you 30-55 days' interest free on all purchases, facilitate credit cards which give reasonable rewards, and even (in my country) provide cards with nil foreign transaction fees and very competitive conversion rates, better than any brick-and-mortar forex counter, anywhere.

And that's not even including banks' strong performance for shareholders.

In other words, I am 100% on the side of the banks.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: PDXTabs on September 10, 2019, 11:01:51 PM
If you spend $100,000 that you know is not your money, you should expect felony charges.
 They got what they deserved. They're idiots.

So the bank makes an error, and now taxpayers are on the hook to house and feed these people? Why isn't the bank taking responsibility for their actions on this one? They had one job.

They are idiots, but being an idiot shouldn't get you five years of free room and board at taxpayer expense.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 10, 2019, 11:36:41 PM
Are you proposing we charge the criminals the cost of their incarceration? Because that would be fine too. But you would probably say that is harsh, or unjust.

Blaming the banks in this instance is nothing more or less than victim blaming. If a police officer accidentally leaves his gun on a table and I take it and shoot him, that does not mean that the police officer was at fault for my actions.

Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: gooki on September 11, 2019, 02:47:39 AM
Just split the responsibility 50/50.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Pizzabrewer on September 11, 2019, 05:39:44 AM
It was “bad legal advice”.

https://kdvr.com/2019/09/10/couple-accused-of-shopping-spree-after-120k-bank-error-we-took-some-bad-legal-advice/?fbclid=IwAR29dPu-NISO3DKnOykY5pkYf7bGoBmQJ8RELXI2VwMpUsLBc1PHtuLrkGw
 (https://kdvr.com/2019/09/10/couple-accused-of-shopping-spree-after-120k-bank-error-we-took-some-bad-legal-advice/?fbclid=IwAR29dPu-NISO3DKnOykY5pkYf7bGoBmQJ8RELXI2VwMpUsLBc1PHtuLrkGw)
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: PDXTabs on September 11, 2019, 08:08:58 AM
If a police officer accidentally leaves his gun on a table and I take it and shoot him, that does not mean that the police officer was at fault for my actions.

That is not an equivalent analogy. The people in this story didn't use the money to kill a bank executive.

I don't expect the bank to take all of the blame. I do expect this to be a civil matter that can be resolved in civil court without criminal charges.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: panda on September 11, 2019, 08:11:59 AM
I'm on the fence on this one.

On one hand the couple should have to make some sort of restitution to the bank since they knew the money wasn't theirs. On the other hand the bank is also slapping them with overdraft fees once the funds were rolled back on the account.

Just making the couple do some community service and pay back the non-recoverable amount (after things have been sold, etc.) should be more than enough to send a strong message. Potentially hitting them with incarceration plus overdraft fees just seems petty for something that is borderline entrapment.

Don't forget that "found money" laws can be really weird - consider how the law works if people find a lot of money lying in the street with no clear owner. If we assume that banks are always correct (most people do), then they may have been acting like this was just "found money."
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 11, 2019, 09:32:43 AM
If a police officer accidentally leaves his gun on a table and I take it and shoot him, that does not mean that the police officer was at fault for my actions.

That is not an equivalent analogy. The people in this story didn't use the money to kill a bank executive.

I don't expect the bank to take all of the blame. I do expect this to be a civil matter that can be resolved in civil court without criminal charges.

It is an equivalent analogy. The couple saw a criminal opportunity and exploited it.

Why do you think theft should be a civil matter only? Aside from the fact that it's obviously a criminal offence, there needs to be a deterrent effect so that other criminals don't try this, hoping to either not get caught, or get caught at a stage when they know they have no ability to ever repay the funds.

I'm tired of people trying to justify blatant criminality. The bank is the victim. If this crime were not prosecuted, all of our bank shares would go down just a tiny bit - we would all be victims.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: ColoAndy on September 11, 2019, 10:03:45 AM
I would love to be able to interview this couple. I can't imagine how they would attempt to justify this.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on September 11, 2019, 10:07:32 AM
But on the other hand, I'm a bit incredulous that the bank can transfer money to them and then if they spend it, get felony charges.

Right? If the cops did this it would be called it entrapment.

Wrong. Entrapment requires intention toward the enablement of a crime. If the cops accidentally dropped a key of yay-yo, someone picked it up and started selling it, and then was busted when the cops caught him on a security camera grabbing the yay-yo and then had an undercover agent purchase from the same individual, this is in no way entrapment.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: panda on September 11, 2019, 10:14:48 AM
Why do you think theft should be a civil matter only? Aside from the fact that it's obviously a criminal offence, there needs to be a deterrent effect so that other criminals don't try this, hoping to either not get caught, or get caught at a stage when they know they have no ability to ever repay the funds.
There's actually a lot of research out there that shows that harsh punishment of criminals isn't a very effective deterrent to crime. Without getting too far off topic, capital punishment is a fine example since the United States has had it on the books for centuries but there isn't any real evidence that it prevents the crimes that capital punishment is prescribed for. It certainly didn't deter Nathan Hale for example.

Quote
I'm tired of people trying to justify blatant criminality. The bank is the victim.
At the risk of getting into "victim shaming" the bank is a victim due to their own incompetence. It's generally accepted that while pacing your self at risk for a crime doesn't excuse that crime taking place, but failing to take appropriate precautions does result in mitigating circumstances. For example, my insurance company isn't going to cover theft if I drive to the bad part of time and leave the unlocked with the keys on the driver seat overnight.

Quote
If this crime were not prosecuted, all of our bank shares would go down just a tiny bit - we would all be victims.
Pff! I suggest you don't buy any shares of stock in banks. At most banks this is basically a rounding error and most annual reports don't even go into that level of detail. Traders have caused banks to lose more money through bad transactions and at worse. Hell, Bruno Iksil didn't face any charges for losing $2 billion and that rippled through the global economy.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: DadJokes on September 11, 2019, 10:28:41 AM
But on the other hand, I'm a bit incredulous that the bank can transfer money to them and then if they spend it, get felony charges.

Right? If the cops did this it would be called it entrapment.

Wrong. Entrapment requires intention toward the enablement of a crime. If the cops accidentally dropped a key of yay-yo, someone picked it up and started selling it, and then was busted when the cops caught him on a security camera grabbing the yay-yo and then had an undercover agent purchase from the same individual, this is in no way entrapment.

I'm apparently not very hip with the times, because I had no idea what yay-yo was.

For the other nerds out there: it's slang for cocaine, per Urban Dictionary.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: partgypsy on September 11, 2019, 11:00:55 AM
I'm on the fence on this one.

On one hand the couple should have to make some sort of restitution to the bank since they knew the money wasn't theirs. On the other hand the bank is also slapping them with overdraft fees once the funds were rolled back on the account.

Just making the couple do some community service and pay back the non-recoverable amount (after things have been sold, etc.) should be more than enough to send a strong message. Potentially hitting them with incarceration plus overdraft fees just seems petty for something that is borderline entrapment.

Don't forget that "found money" laws can be really weird - consider how the law works if people find a lot of money lying in the street with no clear owner. If we assume that banks are always correct (most people do), then they may have been acting like this was just "found money."

So I know personally what is my money and what is not, and  I would have not spent the money. But - two and a half weeks went by where the bank did not alert them or fix the error. Like Milky stated in his defense, what exactly is fraud, if the people have money in their account and spend it. It Was an error, but it wasn't like they held up a bank or performed some kind of cyber fraud to get the money. While I do think it is federally prosecutable as theft, I think the bank should have worked with them to recover the money, not charge overdfar fees and have them arrested in a perp walk.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Just Joe on September 11, 2019, 11:12:46 AM
^^^Ummm, everyone! Who doesn't need more cars and cars?!

When I was 17 years old I deposited a $300 check and the bank teller put it in as $30,000. I noticed it on the deposit ticket that night. Sure enough, $30K was in my checking. That amount of money completely freaked me out and I did not spend it. The bank noticed and fixed it shortly thereafter. True story. Glad I didn't buy a couple of cars!

I know of someone years and years ago that was on the losing side of that mistake. Took months for the bank to fix it. Meanwhile it really hurt the person's budget.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: charis on September 11, 2019, 11:22:22 AM
One time I was offered a job at say 60,000 a year. I tried to negotiate but they said take it or leave. After I get my first paycheck I realized they are paying me 4k more per year than we had agreed. I called to let them know so they could fix it. I sent emails. But they never fixed it. 3 years later all my raises have been based on the extra 4k mistake that never should have been.

I really don't see any reasons to try to correct this, legally, ethically, morally, or whatever.  They set/approve your pay, if someone makes an error and it doesn't get "corrected," that's what they decided to pay you.  Unless you think they will come after you, like in the military.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on September 11, 2019, 11:34:25 AM
I'm apparently not very hip with the times, because I had no idea what yay-yo was.

For the other nerds out there: it's slang for cocaine, per Urban Dictionary.

I'm also a nerd, albeit one who's watched Scarface one too many times.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: panda on September 11, 2019, 11:50:38 AM
So I know personally what is my money and what is not, and  I would have not spent the money. But - two and a half weeks went by where the bank did not alert them or fix the error. Like Milky stated in his defense, what exactly is fraud, if the people have money in their account and spend it. It Was an error, but it wasn't like they held up a bank or performed some kind of cyber fraud to get the money. While I do think it is federally prosecutable as theft, I think the bank should have worked with them to recover the money, not charge overdfar fees and have them arrested in a perp walk.
The Milky case isn't the same as it was with this couple. You might want to go back and read that article again since the key detail was that Milky was over-drafting his account and the bank kept approving the overdrafts. Effectively they gave him an unlimited line of credit with full transparency of his debts, which is what his legal case rested upon.

Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: PDXTabs on September 11, 2019, 12:00:54 PM
But on the other hand, I'm a bit incredulous that the bank can transfer money to them and then if they spend it, get felony charges.

Right? If the cops did this it would be called it entrapment.

Wrong. Entrapment requires intention toward the enablement of a crime. If the cops accidentally dropped a key of yay-yo, someone picked it up and started selling it, and then was busted when the cops caught him on a security camera grabbing the yay-yo and then had an undercover agent purchase from the same individual, this is in no way entrapment.

Entrapment: In criminal law, entrapment is a practice whereby a law enforcement agent or agent of the state induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely or unwilling to commit. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrapment

Are you saying that the bank, by transferring the money into their account, didn't induce them to commit a crime that they would have otherwise been unlikely to commit? Because as far as I can tell that is exactly what they did.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: PDXTabs on September 11, 2019, 12:09:17 PM
Why do you think theft should be a civil matter only? Aside from the fact that it's obviously a criminal offence, there needs to be a deterrent effect so that other criminals don't try this, hoping to either not get caught, or get caught at a stage when they know they have no ability to ever repay the funds.

I'm tired of people trying to justify blatant criminality. The bank is the victim. If this crime were not prosecuted, all of our bank shares would go down just a tiny bit - we would all be victims.

Because:

To put it another way: why wouldn't you want to let the civil system, where no taxpayer money is at risk, handle this?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on September 11, 2019, 12:19:09 PM
But on the other hand, I'm a bit incredulous that the bank can transfer money to them and then if they spend it, get felony charges.

Right? If the cops did this it would be called it entrapment.

Wrong. Entrapment requires intention toward the enablement of a crime. If the cops accidentally dropped a key of yay-yo, someone picked it up and started selling it, and then was busted when the cops caught him on a security camera grabbing the yay-yo and then had an undercover agent purchase from the same individual, this is in no way entrapment.

Entrapment: In criminal law, entrapment is a practice whereby a law enforcement agent or agent of the state induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely or unwilling to commit. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrapment

Are you saying that the bank, by transferring the money into their account, didn't induce them to commit a crime that they would have otherwise been unlikely to commit? Because as far as I can tell that is exactly what they did.

induce: 1. to lead or move by influence or persuasion - The American Heritage Dictionary

https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-resource-manual-645-entrapment-elements (https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-resource-manual-645-entrapment-elements):

Quote
A valid entrapment defense has two related elements: (1) government inducement of the crime, and (2) the defendant's lack of predisposition to engage in the criminal conduct....

Inducement is the threshold issue in the entrapment defense. Mere solicitation to commit a crime is not inducement. Sorrells v. United States, 287 U.S. 435, 451 (1932). Nor does the government's use of artifice, stratagem, pretense, or deceit establish inducement. Id. at 441. Rather, inducement requires a showing of at least persuasion or mild coercion, United States v. Nations, 764 F.2d 1073, 1080 (5th Cir. 1985); pleas based on need, sympathy, or friendship, ibid.; or extraordinary promises of the sort "that would blind the ordinary person to his legal duties," United States v. Evans, 924 F.2d 714, 717 (7th Cir. 1991). See also United States v. Kelly, 748 F.2d 691, 698 (D.C. Cir. 1984) (inducement shown only if government's behavior was such that "a law-abiding citizen's will to obey the law could have been overborne"); United States v. Johnson, 872 F.2d 612, 620 (5th Cir. 1989) (inducement shown if government created "a substantial risk that an offense would be committed by a person other than one ready to commit it").

Even if inducement has been shown, a finding of predisposition is fatal to an entrapment defense. The predisposition inquiry focuses upon whether the defendant "was an unwary innocent or, instead, an unwary criminal who readily availed himself of the opportunity to perpetrate the crime." Mathews, 485 U.S. at 63. Thus, predisposition should not be confused with intent or mens rea: a person may have the requisite intent to commit the crime, yet be entrapped. Also, predisposition may exist even in the absence of prior criminal involvement: "the ready commission of the criminal act," such as where a defendant promptly accepts an undercover agent's offer of an opportunity to buy or sell drugs, may itself establish predisposition.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: partdopy on September 11, 2019, 12:44:58 PM
How is it different then if a visitor left their wallet on your coffee table, then you took all the money and spent it?  Technically, they did leave the money in your house, right?

If someone sent me a letter with money in it into my mailbox (instead of my neighbors) then yeah, I'd be a little inclined to say the sender had some responsibility in putting it into the wrong mailbox.

Then charge me with a felony.

This couple clearly was wrong for spending the money. But acting as if a bank has zero responsibility for their side of the mistake seems... wrong. For me, seeing that the couple is charged with a felony indicates that the bank (and law...) feels no responsibility rests with the bank for the problem.

'The Bank' isn't an entity that can make mistakes.  Individual tellers and administrative employees can.  The banks responsibility in this case is to ensure the mistake made by its employee is fixed, not ensure they only employ those who are 100% perfect and incapable of mistakes.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: PDXTabs on September 11, 2019, 12:45:45 PM
induce: 1. to lead or move by influence or persuasion - The American Heritage Dictionary

induce: to call forth or bring about by influence or stimulation - Merriam Webster

I am aware that in far too many cases the police are allowed to legally entrap people and get a legal conviction.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on September 11, 2019, 04:26:43 PM
But on the other hand, I'm a bit incredulous that the bank can transfer money to them and then if they spend it, get felony charges.

Right? If the cops did this it would be called it entrapment.

Wrong. Entrapment requires intention toward the enablement of a crime. If the cops accidentally dropped a key of yay-yo, someone picked it up and started selling it, and then was busted when the cops caught him on a security camera grabbing the yay-yo and then had an undercover agent purchase from the same individual, this is in no way entrapment.

Entrapment: In criminal law, entrapment is a practice whereby a law enforcement agent or agent of the state induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely or unwilling to commit. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrapment

Are you saying that the bank, by transferring the money into their account, didn't induce them to commit a crime that they would have otherwise been unlikely to commit? Because as far as I can tell that is exactly what they did.

Agreed-- that is exactly what the bank did. However, a bank is neither a law enforcement agent nor an agent of the state. It's generally a corporation of some kind.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 11, 2019, 05:43:35 PM
Why do you think theft should be a civil matter only? Aside from the fact that it's obviously a criminal offence, there needs to be a deterrent effect so that other criminals don't try this, hoping to either not get caught, or get caught at a stage when they know they have no ability to ever repay the funds.
There's actually a lot of research out there that shows that harsh punishment of criminals isn't a very effective deterrent to crime. Without getting too far off topic, capital punishment is a fine example since the United States has had it on the books for centuries but there isn't any real evidence that it prevents the crimes that capital punishment is prescribed for. It certainly didn't deter Nathan Hale for example.

Quote
I'm tired of people trying to justify blatant criminality. The bank is the victim.
At the risk of getting into "victim shaming" the bank is a victim due to their own incompetence. It's generally accepted that while pacing your self at risk for a crime doesn't excuse that crime taking place, but failing to take appropriate precautions does result in mitigating circumstances. For example, my insurance company isn't going to cover theft if I drive to the bad part of time and leave the unlocked with the keys on the driver seat overnight.

Quote
If this crime were not prosecuted, all of our bank shares would go down just a tiny bit - we would all be victims.
Pff! I suggest you don't buy any shares of stock in banks. At most banks this is basically a rounding error and most annual reports don't even go into that level of detail. Traders have caused banks to lose more money through bad transactions and at worse. Hell, Bruno Iksil didn't face any charges for losing $2 billion and that rippled through the global economy.

You are victim shaming, simple as that. It is true that your insurer won't pay out if you leave your car door unlocked and someone goes in and steals the car. But that is a civil matter between you and your insurer. It doesn't change the fact that someone committed a crime in stealing your car. It doesn't mean police won't prosecute the car thief. Your own carelessness is perhaps relevant to a civil suit but it doesn't change the nature of the criminal act.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 11, 2019, 05:51:09 PM
Why do you think theft should be a civil matter only? Aside from the fact that it's obviously a criminal offence, there needs to be a deterrent effect so that other criminals don't try this, hoping to either not get caught, or get caught at a stage when they know they have no ability to ever repay the funds.

I'm tired of people trying to justify blatant criminality. The bank is the victim. If this crime were not prosecuted, all of our bank shares would go down just a tiny bit - we would all be victims.

Because:
  • It was a business relationship gone bad. The business relationship was negotiated at arms length with a contract and I see no reason not to let civil law resolve this contract dispute.
  • The bank shareholders stand the best chance of recovering their money through civil channels. If you send these people to prison they aren't going to have jobs to pay back any settlement.
  • Prison costs taxpayers money. You are increasing the taxpayer burden while decreasing the likelihood that the bank ever sees their money by branding these people as felons.

To put it another way: why wouldn't you want to let the civil system, where no taxpayer money is at risk, handle this?

No, it wasn't a business relationship gone bad. Knowingly using money that is not your own is theft, plain and simple. You can try to justify it all you want. Next time you mistakenly send someone an email with confidential information and that person then exploits it, would you say it was just a business relationship gone bad? That by having some form of social or business connection with a person, all mistakes become exploitable? That's not how it works, at law, or morally. You do not have the right to exploit an obvious mistake in most cases. That is both a civil wrong and potentially a crime.

You can steal from a faceless corporation just the same as stealing directly from someone else's account. The fact that the damage is dispersed throughout a large entity does not make it any less, or more, a theft.

As I said before, if you are worried about how much it will cost to incarcerate them, take it up with whoever deals with that. It has no bearing on whether they committed a crime.

It's not for me to justify why theft should not be seen as a civil offence. Besides the bleeding obvious, the fact is if we let these crooks off easy, imagine how many other destitute people would try to scam banks, knowing that they would bear no criminal repercussions.

While you're at it, maybe make DUI a civil matter as well. It's just a misunderstanding between the driver and the liquor store after all.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: PDXTabs on September 11, 2019, 06:01:15 PM
While you're at it, maybe make DUI a civil matter as well. It's just a misunderstanding between the driver and the liquor store after all.

Straw man much?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Dicey on September 11, 2019, 06:54:09 PM
I thought of this story quite a bit this week. We sold a house, which closed on Monday. We were expecting a check for about 3.5 times as much to show up. When it didn't, we idly speculated about where it might have been deposited in error and if so, what that party might have thought/done. The money showed up the next day. Interestingly, the bank did not put a hold on it, so I suspect the fuck-up was something internal on their part.

Yup, the people in this story are idiots. They could have taken screen shots and used them as savings goals, but now they're looking at jail time at worst and legal bills they can't afford at best. Sheesh.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Seadog on September 14, 2019, 09:04:44 PM
I'm also on the fence here, and think the bank should at least shoulder some of the responsibility. This is because you'd think the bank should have procedures in place so that this doesn't happen, and when it does, is it obviously an error(because it shouldn't be possible), or is it found money?

What if you live alone, and one day $100 just materialized on your coffee table? Is it yours? We had a kayak materialize at our cottage years ago. Do we keep it? We left it out locked up with a note for the summer, then afterwards figured it was ours.

Hundreds of years ago army recruiters used to slip large coins into prospective recruits drinks when their back was turned. Once they finished them, the drinkers would smile at their good fortune that someone dropped money in their cup, and spend it. After the money was gone, the recruiter would admit his ruse, demand to be repaid, and if they couldn't they would be forced into service.

Same thing here. You have the smart and powerful, people who should know better, either intentionally or unintentionally baiting people who don't. Then when they take it, say "Ah-Ha! I got you good you fucker!" and demand their pound of flesh.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Pizzabrewer on September 16, 2019, 10:50:37 AM
I'm not on the fence.

If you find a $5 bill on the street, I think everyone is in agreement it is yours to keep. 

If you find an envelope containing $10,000, I'd hope everyone would be in agreement that it's your duty to find the rightful owner.

The bank teller screwed up, yes.  But the culpability for the crime lies solely with the people who thought it was theirs to keep.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Samuel on September 16, 2019, 01:03:45 PM
I'm not on the fence either. The couple made no effort to contact the bank to alert them to the obvious error, then ducked every attempt by the bank to contact them about it and resolve the problem. That's why the bank turned to the criminal justice system. This is totally a crime, and it's one the couple had several opportunities to keep from being prosecuted for.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 17, 2019, 02:04:35 AM
I'm not on the fence either. The couple made no effort to contact the bank to alert them to the obvious error, then ducked every attempt by the bank to contact them about it and resolve the problem. That's why the bank turned to the criminal justice system. This is totally a crime, and it's one the couple had several opportunities to keep from being prosecuted for.

Also, it's not like it's difficult to contact the bank to report unexpected funds, nor is there any lack of understanding among the general public that just because money is wrongly transferred into your account, doesn't mean it's yours to keep.

I'm flabbergasted that people actually are defending the criminals here.

I think some people just don't like big banks/big business - but that's like defending a shoplifter by saying "oh, Walmart shouldn't have left its store unattended. Anyway it doesn't matter they make enough money as it is."
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wrenchturner on September 17, 2019, 10:44:37 AM
This wasn't money left on the street.  It was handed to the wrong people.  Bank should eat half the loss as a learning experience.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GatorNation on September 17, 2019, 08:02:23 PM
Not entrapment.

I'm attorney and routinely practice criminal law.

Anyone saying otherwise is being silly.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: PDXTabs on September 17, 2019, 08:38:33 PM
Not entrapment.

I'm attorney and routinely practice criminal law.

Anyone saying otherwise is being silly.

So in your professional opinion, if the FBI were to leave $120K in my living room having entered my home without my knowledge under U.S.C. § 3103a(b) would they be able to charge me with felony theft?

What if I spent the money, knowing that it wasn't "mine?"
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Pizzabrewer on September 18, 2019, 07:15:46 AM


I'm flabbergasted that people actually are defending the criminals here.


Me too.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: charis on September 18, 2019, 07:34:55 AM
Not entrapment.

I'm attorney and routinely practice criminal law.

Anyone saying otherwise is being silly.

So in your professional opinion, if the FBI were to leave $120K in my living room having entered my home without my knowledge under U.S.C. § 3103a(b) would they be able to charge me with felony theft?

What if I spent the money, knowing that it wasn't "mine?"

Not entrapment but I think that if anyone finds 120K of someone else's money, whether on the ground or in their own home, and they spend it, that constitutes a theft crime.   Assuming that you know that you are not the owner, if you spend it, you are intentionally depriving the owner of his or her property.  I don't think the fact that you don't know the identity of the owner changes the equation.   

You could argue that you believed yourself to be the most recent owner of the money because it was abandoned by the original owner, but it's not plausible in this situation.  For a twenty on the sidewalk, sure, but not 120K in your living room, or your bank account.  If I have a party and find a diamond ring in my couch the next day and go pawn it for cash without making any effort to find the owner first, theft. 
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on September 18, 2019, 07:55:10 AM
Not entrapment.

I'm attorney and routinely practice criminal law.

Anyone saying otherwise is being silly.

So in your professional opinion, if the FBI were to leave $120K in my living room having entered my home without my knowledge under U.S.C. § 3103a(b) would they be able to charge me with felony theft?

What if I spent the money, knowing that it wasn't "mine?"

I don't even know how to respond to such statements, they are so far removed from the actual case.

1) Nobody entered anybody's living room. That would be felony breaking and entering.
2) When you invest your money with a bank, you sign a contract with the bank. You agree that the bank is free to use that money, until you request it back, at which time the bank is required to return your money plus interest.
3) If there is a bank error, in either direction, the contract you have signed with the bank, as well as the associated laws, require that the error needs to be corrected.

So the better contrast would be if the bank accidentally debited you $120k. When you realize the mistake and ask for your money back, the bank apologizes and says that they've spent the money, but maybe we can split it halfsies? (Note that this isn't too far from reality prior to FDIC insurance for the banks.)

There's an old saying that applies here: Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 18, 2019, 03:12:34 PM
Boof, that's a great analogy. Imagine if the bank accidentally debited the amount, and spent it on payroll. Oops. Contractual issue. Both parties at fault. Stupid you for agreeing to convert your expensive gold into ones and zeros! Okay, let's call it even, we'll reimburse you $60k, and you can amortise the $60k loss over the other transactions you'll make over the rest of your life. Civil disagreements happen.

Oh wait, suddenly everyone now feels bad for the little guy.

The reality is, the only reason why anyone in this thread is seeking to exonerate the criminals is because they don't like the practices of the banks. This is like trying to excuse shoplifters because Walmart is a shitty corporate being. None of that is relevant.

I'm so glad I live in a society where theft is punished. If you want to make $120k, get a degree and make it the proper way. It shouldn't take you very long. Not as long as a jail sentence anyway.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Dicey on September 18, 2019, 04:04:32 PM
Boof, that's a great analogy. Imagine if the bank accidentally debited the amount, and spent it on payroll. Oops. Contractual issue. Both parties at fault. Stupid you for agreeing to convert your expensive gold into ones and zeros! Okay, let's call it even, we'll reimburse you $60k, and you can amortise the $60k loss over the other transactions you'll make over the rest of your life. Civil disagreements happen.

Oh wait, suddenly everyone now feels bad for the little guy.

The reality is, the only reason why anyone in this thread is seeking to exonerate the criminals is because they don't like the practices of the banks. This is like trying to excuse shoplifters because Walmart is a shitty corporate being. None of that is relevant.

I'm so glad I live in a society where theft is punished. If you want to make $120k, get a degree and make it the proper way. It shouldn't take you very long. Not as long as a jail sentence anyway.
Gotta say I love the way you think, and completely agree with you, Bloop Bloop!
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: gooki on September 22, 2019, 04:18:23 AM
Quote
So the better contrast would be if the bank accidentally debited you $120k. When you realize the mistake and ask for your money back, the bank apologizes and says that they've spent the money, but maybe we can split it halfsies? (Note that this isn't too far from reality prior to FDIC insurance for the banks.)

The better contrast would be if you made a typo on the account number when making an online payment, would the bank reverse the transfer after x days?

My 2 cents would be they’d tell you there’s nothing they can do as the money is no longer in their system.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: scottish on September 22, 2019, 03:08:58 PM
I've been on the other side of this story during a corporate relocation.

The corporation purchased our house after we had an executed contract to sell it.   The idea was that they would take over the sale and make the funds available to us immediately to use for our house in the new location.

The wire transfer for $192K went missing for about a week.   What a stressful situation.    The corporate droid in the relocation group didn't know how to trace the transfer.  I refused to release the property to the corporation without the funds.  Eventually our bank manager found it - it had been sent to the wrong branch and was sitting in their holding account.

In the end, our bank took responsibility and compensated us with interest at their current hisa rate, whatever that was at the time.  (This was around 2000 so, it wasn't 1.5%)

I have no sympathy at all for someone who finds a $120K "windfall" in their bank account and spends it.   That $120K is *missing* from somebody's finances.

Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: DadJokes on September 22, 2019, 04:32:54 PM
Love your signature @scottish
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: BTDretire on September 23, 2019, 03:32:36 PM
It was “bad legal advice”.

https://kdvr.com/2019/09/10/couple-accused-of-shopping-spree-after-120k-bank-error-we-took-some-bad-legal-advice/?fbclid=IwAR29dPu-NISO3DKnOykY5pkYf7bGoBmQJ8RELXI2VwMpUsLBc1PHtuLrkGw
 (https://kdvr.com/2019/09/10/couple-accused-of-shopping-spree-after-120k-bank-error-we-took-some-bad-legal-advice/?fbclid=IwAR29dPu-NISO3DKnOykY5pkYf7bGoBmQJ8RELXI2VwMpUsLBc1PHtuLrkGw)

It is written as if the got legal advice from a layman.
"we took some bad legal advice from some people"
 I would think "some people" would have been "a lawyer", if it had been a lawyer.
Maybe it was a neighbor that wanted him gone. "ya bro, once they put it in your account, it's all yours, and tax free too!"
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: ender on September 23, 2019, 03:51:08 PM
It's interesting here to look at parallels between receiving unsolicited mail packages, where you become the owner. Only if the package says a different address is it theft.

With deposits, it's not a clear parallel, because you don't have as obvious a "mail label" as you do with packages. I suppose you could argue whether account numbers count for this or not, though it's much more of a stretch than with physical packages.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wrenchturner on September 23, 2019, 04:30:20 PM
The reason I think the bank should eat some of the loss is because they were negligent with a large sum of money.  Insurance regularly differentiates between gross/simple negligence, how is this any different?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Pizzabrewer on September 23, 2019, 05:49:26 PM
It wasn't "the bank" making an error, it was a teller who mis-keyed an account number.  We're all human.

$120k showed up in someone's account.  There is NOTHING to justify these people spending this money.  They absolutely knew it wasn't theirs yet they spent it anyway, as fast as they could.  No mistake there.

They are 100% culpable for the theft and 100% obligated to return the money. 

I still don't understand how anyone here can disagree.

Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wrenchturner on September 23, 2019, 06:31:49 PM
It wasn't "the bank" making an error, it was a teller who mis-keyed an account number.  We're all human.

$120k showed up in someone's account.  There is NOTHING to justify these people spending this money.  They absolutely knew it wasn't theirs yet they spent it anyway, as fast as they could.  No mistake there.

They are 100% culpable for the theft and 100% obligated to return the money. 

I still don't understand how anyone here can disagree.

I still don't understand how this is theft.  Immoral and foolish?  Probably.  But a third party(the bank) gave them money they shouldn't have.  This third party is fundamentally culpable.  These people didn't steal from the first party.  I see it as an escrow gone wrong.  I'm sure the law disagrees but the bank definitely is partly liable; they're the ones that screwed up after all.  The people that received the money did absolutely nothing wrong in receiving this transfer.  What they did with it afterward is-in part-a separate matter.

Edit: the bank has a duty of care.  An analogy:  I work on RVs.  If I do a gas leak test incorrectly on a new, sold RV, and the RV burns to the ground and kills a family, I cannot fall back on the manufacturer and declare myself absolved of the liability despite the fact that the manufacturer built an RV with a gas leak.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on September 24, 2019, 12:34:43 AM
I am trying to imagine how I think I would probably behave, if I was the recipient of $120 in my account.

Me: Oh, hi! There's an extra $120k in my account, and I actually noticed. I didn't put it there. You should probably contact my co-worker, whose credit union account it probably came from. We're both shareholders, and I wouldn't want to actually inconvenience a colleague.

Them: Huh?

Me: I do want the interest on whatever number of days it was in my account. It's fair that you should just kind of eat that, even if it's at the expense of the shareholders. Be less stupid next time, and exercise reasonable oversight over what your tellers do. Or pay them better and expect them to fuck up less often.

I like to think that this is how it would go, except possibly for the "Huh?" part. But frankly, unless the oversight coincided with an automatic monthly statement, I probably wouldn't notice the extra money in the first place. Massive deposits don't trigger an E-mail notification, so excess money could be in there for weeks without me noticing. I suppose that if there were an overdraft, they'd tell me. But an extra deposit? Probably not.

Do each of you, personally, have a way to notice if six figures of extra greenbacks are dumped into your account?

I go now to check  my account balance. You should, too. I'm now tempted to go try to prove a negative.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 24, 2019, 06:19:16 AM
Wrenchturner: if your boss gave you a cheque meant for your co-worker, and you knew it wasn't yours (perhaps you didn't know which exact co-worker it belonged to, but it clearly wasn't your salary) and you cashed the cheque anyway, you would be culpable.

Yes, your boss is negligent in the sense that he or she negligently/recklessly (presumably not intentionally, though) handed a cheque to the wrong person without doing the proper checks.

However, you have intentionally, knowingly, cashed the cheque and spent it. You knew it wasn't yours. It wasn't a question of "maybe this is the pay cheque I am owed from last week." So your culpability is greater. Because you have intentionally tried to derive a financial benefit from a mistake, in a way where the benefit (spending the money) will necessarily deprive someone of the rightful use - whether that is the boss (bank) or the co-worker (the rightful account-holder), you don't know or care, but that doesn't lessen your culpability.

You could only try to avoid the moral/criminal culpability element if you pretended that the money did not belong to anyone - if it had no proper destination.

Another analogy: a truck with cartons of cigarettes makes a mistake by over-shooting a roundabout and crashes near your front lawn. You take the cigarettes and sell them. It was the truck driver's negligence which caused the crash which caused you to have access to the cigarettes. However, that doesn't mean that you taking the cigarettes isn't theft.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: partgypsy on September 24, 2019, 10:46:40 AM
So I know personally what is my money and what is not, and  I would have not spent the money. But - two and a half weeks went by where the bank did not alert them or fix the error. Like Milky stated in his defense, what exactly is fraud, if the people have money in their account and spend it. It Was an error, but it wasn't like they held up a bank or performed some kind of cyber fraud to get the money. While I do think it is federally prosecutable as theft, I think the bank should have worked with them to recover the money, not charge overdfar fees and have them arrested in a perp walk.
The Milky case isn't the same as it was with this couple. You might want to go back and read that article again since the key detail was that Milky was over-drafting his account and the bank kept approving the overdrafts. Effectively they gave him an unlimited line of credit with full transparency of his debts, which is what his legal case rested upon.

The think I don't get about the Milky case, is that his criminal case was dismissed because he did not steal or do fraud. but wouldn't he still have to pay them back? I don't understand that part of the story. It seems like he would still owe the money, right?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: fredbear on September 24, 2019, 12:04:27 PM
I am trying to imagine how I think I would probably behave, if I was the recipient of $120 in my account.

...
[/quote

Long ago when money was money I discovered an extra $50K in my account.  I wrote the bank (on paper; it was a common substance for communication then) and told them to check my account; it seemed to have much more money in it than my accounting suggested.  They wrote me back a snotgram stating there was nothing wrong with their accounting and my account balance was correct. 

I thought, "With a jury trial a letter from the bank stating my account balance was correct I could probably spend this.  Written permission from the bank itself."

I thought, "It isn't mine."  I left it in there but didn't include it in my accounting.  Months later, at year-end, they sent me a snotgram stating that they had found the money, had taken the money out, it was never mine, and I should never have thought it was. 

I thought, "I didn't.  I never thought it was mine."

I thought, "The gratuitous insult suggests you are assholes."

I wrote them back saying that I didn't really expect much for calling their $50,000 error to their attention (see my letter of ...., copy attached), but I thought they could have come up with something like a nice note to me on the order of "Thanks for bringing this to our attention.  Very honest of you.  Here is a gift certificate for a MacDonalds happy meal, value about 0.0001% of what you saved us."  Of course their flint hearts were proof against my feeble guilt ploy.

A few years later they got involved in funding some very dubious investments made by a municipal pension plan in Kansas.    Very.  One day they were there, and the next day there were canvas banners hiding the name under which they had shamed themselves, and replacing it with the name of the new bank that had crept up amoeba-like on them in the night, extended a pseudopod and phagocytotically absorbed them.  Though our ways had long-since parted, I stopped by to ask a teller to pass the word up to the ex-president, if he stopped in on the way to his trial, that I was glad they were gone.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: DadJokes on September 24, 2019, 12:16:28 PM
I am trying to imagine how I think I would probably behave, if I was the recipient of $120 in my account.

...

Long ago when money was money I discovered an extra $50K in my account.  I wrote the bank (on paper; it was a common substance for communication then) and told them to check my account; it seemed to have much more money in it than my accounting suggested.  They wrote me back a snotgram stating there was nothing wrong with their accounting and my account balance was correct. 

I thought, "With a jury trial a letter from the bank stating my account balance was correct I could probably spend this.  Written permission from the bank itself."

...

I am curious as to whether or not that would hold up in court.

Probably not, but wouldn't that be fun?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wolfpack Mustachian on September 24, 2019, 12:33:59 PM
Quote
So the better contrast would be if the bank accidentally debited you $120k. When you realize the mistake and ask for your money back, the bank apologizes and says that they've spent the money, but maybe we can split it halfsies? (Note that this isn't too far from reality prior to FDIC insurance for the banks.)

The better contrast would be if you made a typo on the account number when making an online payment, would the bank reverse the transfer after x days?

My 2 cents would be they’d tell you there’s nothing they can do as the money is no longer in their system.

I would like for someone in the "for sure it's a crime, anyone saying the bank has responsibility is crazy" camp to respond to this analogy. This seems to be the best analogy to convey why the bank has some responsibility. I can only imagine the hassle/fees/etc. that would come with trying to fix something like this, and it seems like a very apt comparison to what the bank actually did. Did the bank offer payment to the couple as compensation for the issue that they caused....I doubt it.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: PoutineLover on September 24, 2019, 02:28:43 PM
Funnily enough, when clients lose money in etransfers, the banks basically say too bad suckers:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/etransfer-fraud-banks-blame-customers-1.5286926

Not saying that I would spend clearly accidentally transferred money, but the bank should definitely take some responsibility for their mistake. They can't have it both ways.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wolfpack Mustachian on September 24, 2019, 02:52:26 PM
Funnily enough, when clients lose money in etransfers, the banks basically say too bad suckers:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/etransfer-fraud-banks-blame-customers-1.5286926

Not saying that I would spend clearly accidentally transferred money, but the bank should definitely take some responsibility for their mistake. They can't have it both ways.

Right, people keep saying that anyone that thinks the banks have any responsibility are basically saying you're condoning stealing because you don't like the banks. I'm just saying, it's not just because banks are pretty much jerks. It's because when the tables are turned the other way, there's certainly no free, easy reversal much less as if people have any comparable option to criminal charges against the banks for screwing them.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on September 24, 2019, 02:55:07 PM
Actually, the bank would be on the hook for e-transfer fraud, if they were the ones who had screwed up. But in the cases mentioned in the article, it seemed to me that the customers had compromised email accounts or shitty security answers that precipitated the fraud, not the banks.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: PoutineLover on September 24, 2019, 03:01:14 PM
Actually, the bank would be on the hook for e-transfer fraud, if they were the ones who had screwed up. But in the cases mentioned in the article, it seemed to me that the customers had compromised email accounts or shitty security answers that precipitated the fraud, not the banks.
If banks are aware that their security procedures are too weak for normal use, they should change them. There should be a way to track where the money has been deposited (how can they not know that info at least??). When choosing a password, most banks won't allow very weak ones. Can't they apply the same standards to etransfers? I think there's a lot more they could do if they wanted to, but they don't care or have no financial incentive to do anything about it.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: scottish on September 24, 2019, 03:37:12 PM
The etransfers ask for a question, not a password.   Maybe they should switch to passwords?

But then people would just send the password via email.   After all, how else would the recipient know a complicated password?

The banks should really educate people on how this type of fraud occurs, just like people learn not to download and run executables from the web.

Once people understand how the fraud occurs they can learn how to avoid it.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 24, 2019, 03:45:56 PM
Quote
So the better contrast would be if the bank accidentally debited you $120k. When you realize the mistake and ask for your money back, the bank apologizes and says that they've spent the money, but maybe we can split it halfsies? (Note that this isn't too far from reality prior to FDIC insurance for the banks.)

The better contrast would be if you made a typo on the account number when making an online payment, would the bank reverse the transfer after x days?

My 2 cents would be they’d tell you there’s nothing they can do as the money is no longer in their system.

I would like for someone in the "for sure it's a crime, anyone saying the bank has responsibility is crazy" camp to respond to this analogy. This seems to be the best analogy to convey why the bank has some responsibility. I can only imagine the hassle/fees/etc. that would come with trying to fix something like this, and it seems like a very apt comparison to what the bank actually did. Did the bank offer payment to the couple as compensation for the issue that they caused....I doubt it.

Actually I accidentally transferred $400 to the wrong account once (got a digit wrong) and my bank reversed my transaction for free when I found out after a few days.

The bank's obligation in this instance would be to reverse the transaction, perhaps less a reasonable admin fee (say $25), as long as you could prove that your first transfer was a mistake and there was no dispute on the recipient's end. If the money had been spent on the other end, then the bank would be off the hook but you would have a civil and criminal redress against the other party (though you might never get that money back since most pieces of shit who steal money have no money in the first place).

And, the fact that banks are jerks does not excuse stealing of one person's money by another. In this instance the bank is just an impartial facilitator.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Samuel on September 24, 2019, 03:49:36 PM
Quote
So the better contrast would be if the bank accidentally debited you $120k. When you realize the mistake and ask for your money back, the bank apologizes and says that they've spent the money, but maybe we can split it halfsies? (Note that this isn't too far from reality prior to FDIC insurance for the banks.)

The better contrast would be if you made a typo on the account number when making an online payment, would the bank reverse the transfer after x days?

My 2 cents would be they’d tell you there’s nothing they can do as the money is no longer in their system.

I would like for someone in the "for sure it's a crime, anyone saying the bank has responsibility is crazy" camp to respond to this analogy. This seems to be the best analogy to convey why the bank has some responsibility. I can only imagine the hassle/fees/etc. that would come with trying to fix something like this, and it seems like a very apt comparison to what the bank actually did. Did the bank offer payment to the couple as compensation for the issue that they caused....I doubt it.

The bank does have some responsibility to the account holder whose money they misdirected. They probably would cover overdraft fees or other damages due to their mistake (although if a home purchase or other deal fell through because of it I imagine that wouldn't be covered).

I don't see what responsibility they have for the couple who ran out and spent money they knew wasn't theirs, that the bank accidentally parked in their account for a period of time. What damages did the couple suffer that deserves compensation?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 24, 2019, 04:31:34 PM
Apparently some people in this thread think that a mistake which allows you the opportunity to commit a crime is equally as culpable as the said crime.

Hope they never leave a loaded gun lying around by mistake. If someone shoots them with it they would only wish to apportion it 50/50 responsibility.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Freedom2016 on September 24, 2019, 08:57:19 PM
Did the bank offer payment to the couple as compensation for the issue that they caused....I doubt it.

What on earth for? What earthly inconvenience did this couple suffer by having someone else's money sit in their account? There was a new line of numbers on a screen or piece of paper for a little while. That's it. Did it hurt their eyeballs to look at those unfamiliar numbers? /s

I am just flabbergasted by some of the comments here. The bank made a mistake; the couple committed a crime. The mistake does not justify the crime.

#TeamBloopBloop

[sorry -- that quote incensed me so much that I didn't read the following comments which make the same point]
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Davnasty on September 25, 2019, 09:01:41 AM
Apparently some people in this thread think that a mistake which allows you the opportunity to commit a crime is equally as culpable as the said crime.

Hope they never leave a loaded gun lying around by mistake. If someone shoots them with it they would only wish to apportion it 50/50 responsibility.

If I recall correctly only one commenter has stated that the responsibility should be equal. Most are simply saying that the bank carries some responsibility, which I agree with. And I don't think anyone has suggested that the couple didn't commit a crime, only that the punishment was irrational and that the steps taken by the bank were not in the bank's best interest if they want to get their money back.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: jeff191 on September 25, 2019, 09:20:29 AM
The bank is going to take the loss on this - there's very little chance they will recover much of what has been spent by the couple. It's just going to hit their books as a credit loss as even with a judgement against the couple for the amount, the bank won't collect much if any. That's just how these things always go. Even if the bank split the liability, they're not going to recover half from the couple.

And banks will typically pursue these cases as it sets an example if they do not. You don't want people to think there's a chance the bank won't come after them if they spend the money.

This sort of stuff literally happens all the time, but the vast majority of the time, people are honest and don't spend money that isn't theirs so it doesn't make the news. I've seen instances where mistakes were made with amounts much larger and funds were immediately returned upon discovery.

Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wolfpack Mustachian on September 25, 2019, 10:20:10 AM
Apparently some people in this thread think that a mistake which allows you the opportunity to commit a crime is equally as culpable as the said crime.

Hope they never leave a loaded gun lying around by mistake. If someone shoots them with it they would only wish to apportion it 50/50 responsibility.

If I recall correctly only one commenter has stated that the responsibility should be equal. Most are simply saying that the bank carries some responsibility, which I agree with. And I don't think anyone has suggested that the couple didn't commit a crime, only that the punishment was irrational and that the steps taken by the bank were not in the bank's best interest if they want to get their money back.

Lol, this is the most angry I've made people on this forum outside of political discussions. It's kind of funny on my end when I'm not really passionate about what I'm saying, just sort of throwing out another perspective. It's really a good lesson for discussions and is reminding me of the importance of actually reading what people say not what I think they're saying and not what maybe one guy said and assuming everyone else thinks that way. It seems (and I may be wrong) that people are getting so angry because they're assuming everyone having any discussion are saying what the couple did was not a crime or that the bank was just as responsible as the couple.

I in no way approved of what they did or said it wasn't a crime. That doesn't mean the playing field is level though. It doesn't mean that people would have anywhere near the level of recourse that the banks have in fixing something, especially if they were the ones who had initially made the mistake like the bank did in this instance. The people in this story were so egregious that they got a thread on here and tons of internet commentary about them - of course they're ridiculous. It doesn't mean that we have to pretend like the bank has 0 responsibility for this. In less ridiculous situations, the uneven playing field would merit further discussion, but it does future conversations a disservice to imply that the bank has 0 responsibility here just because the couple were obviously significantly at fault.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: DadJokes on September 25, 2019, 10:33:55 AM

...

It doesn't mean that we have to pretend like the bank has 0 responsibility for this. In less ridiculous situations, the uneven playing field would merit further discussion, but it does future conversations a disservice to imply that the bank has 0 responsibility here just because the couple were obviously significantly at fault.

I don't think anyone here has said or implied that the bank has zero responsibility.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wolfpack Mustachian on September 25, 2019, 10:53:21 AM

...

It doesn't mean that we have to pretend like the bank has 0 responsibility for this. In less ridiculous situations, the uneven playing field would merit further discussion, but it does future conversations a disservice to imply that the bank has 0 responsibility here just because the couple were obviously significantly at fault.

I don't think anyone here has said or implied that the bank has zero responsibility.

Lol, touche somewhat :). I would argue that pizzabrewer's comment that "It wasn't "the bank" making an error, it was a teller who mis-keyed an account number." is functionally equivalent to zero responsibility for banks - employees doing something wrong cannot ultimately completely remove responsibility from the employer except maybe in very extreme situations, of which this is not one. Also, my whole commentary on here started because no one was mentioning gooki's analogy which was spot on of comparing responsibility of a person to responsibility of a bank, seeming to me that they didn't think the bank had any responsibility. Additionally, while some have admitted that the bank had responsibility to whoever's money they pulled out to put in the other guy's account, my zero responsibility comment is for the people whose account it's gone into. No one has explicitly said that they have no responsibility to the person whose account they gave the money too, but I feel that there are many comments that I can safely imply from that they're thinking that way. My point is, just because in this case it was obvious - 120k in their bank account, I'm assuming being asked about by the bank to return in a reasonable time - that doesn't mean that it would always be the case. The bank has 100% responsibility for not just taking it out of someone but for putting it into someone else's account. In this case, it was so obvious with insignificant repercussions if the couple had actually  handled it properly that it's obvious the couple bear overwhelming, overall responsibility in the situation for spending the money. In other cases, it wouldn't be as clear. The bank has responsibility to the couple for putting money into their account, not zero responsibility to them. If I'm incorrectly assuming people are thinking that, feel free to correct me.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: ender on September 25, 2019, 11:31:16 AM
Anyone arguing the situation is equally fair if you transfer money wrongly is not really the same. If you transfer money because you type the wrong account numbers, you are in really bad luck if you don't catch it ASAP and/or the other person isn't nice about it.

https://www.businesstoday.in/money/banking/what-if-you-transfer-money-to-a-wrong-bank-account/story/232449.html

There are tons of stories online about people who accidentally transfer money to the wrong account and can't get it back without legal action. It basically sucks. That situation is very different than the one here, where the bank has the ability to just undo their action regardless of impact on the people in question. As a bank customer, a similar mistake cannot be remotely as easily reversed.


That being said, I don't expect that a couple that spent $120k within 3 weeks of it showing up without bothering to say anything and did this afterwards would have cared at all about doing things the right way in any circumstance either:

Quote
Court papers show after the initial phone calls from the bank, the couple had no contact with bank representatives, despite several attempts by the bank to contact them.

I think in all cases, if I accidentally transfer $120k to someone, it is very unlikely they would be charged with felony theft in the process.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 25, 2019, 01:03:54 PM
Apparently some people in this thread think that a mistake which allows you the opportunity to commit a crime is equally as culpable as the said crime.

Hope they never leave a loaded gun lying around by mistake. If someone shoots them with it they would only wish to apportion it 50/50 responsibility.

If I recall correctly only one commenter has stated that the responsibility should be equal. Most are simply saying that the bank carries some responsibility, which I agree with. And I don't think anyone has suggested that the couple didn't commit a crime, only that the punishment was irrational and that the steps taken by the bank were not in the bank's best interest if they want to get their money back.

Lol, this is the most angry I've made people on this forum outside of political discussions. It's kind of funny on my end when I'm not really passionate about what I'm saying, just sort of throwing out another perspective. It's really a good lesson for discussions and is reminding me of the importance of actually reading what people say not what I think they're saying and not what maybe one guy said and assuming everyone else thinks that way. It seems (and I may be wrong) that people are getting so angry because they're assuming everyone having any discussion are saying what the couple did was not a crime or that the bank was just as responsible as the couple.

I in no way approved of what they did or said it wasn't a crime. That doesn't mean the playing field is level though. It doesn't mean that people would have anywhere near the level of recourse that the banks have in fixing something, especially if they were the ones who had initially made the mistake like the bank did in this instance. The people in this story were so egregious that they got a thread on here and tons of internet commentary about them - of course they're ridiculous. It doesn't mean that we have to pretend like the bank has 0 responsibility for this. In less ridiculous situations, the uneven playing field would merit further discussion, but it does future conversations a disservice to imply that the bank has 0 responsibility here just because the couple were obviously significantly at fault.

No one's getting angry. It's a civil discussion. As for the fact that the bank can "fix" something (by paying out the funds that are stolen), no doubt it can, and no doubt in practical terms the bank is going to bear the brunt of the civil loss, but that doesn't detract from the criminality of the act. Nor does it matter that the playing field is "uneven". I am not sure why there is even a playing field here - the fact that you imply there is one means that you are trying to assign some sort of culpability apportionment when the bank has not stolen (or sought to steal) anything and it is the criminals who have stolen everything.

There are two different concepts - "responsibility" (in a causal sense) and "criminality" (in a culpability sense) - you can use different terms, but as I see it, both the bank and the criminals are responsible for the situation because the crime couldn't have happened without the inadvertent error. Only the criminals are culpable, because they are the only party to have willingly taken advantage of a situation with the intention of depriving the owner of the funds. When you use loose and enabling language like "the couple were obviously significantly at fault" and "uneven playing field" you are trying to excuse criminal responsibility, which is what I don't understand. What is the uneven playing field here?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Kyle Schuant on September 26, 2019, 02:59:00 AM
Taking/spending the money is straight up theft.
Spot the guy who works for banks. :p
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Kyle Schuant on September 26, 2019, 03:04:24 AM
If you spend $100,000 that you know is not your money, you should expect felony charges.
What if you blow $700 billion?

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/sep/11/lehman-brothers-collapse-where-are-the-key-figures-now (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/sep/11/lehman-brothers-collapse-where-are-the-key-figures-now)

Hmm, apparently then the government bails you out. I guess the couple just weren't thinking big enough! :D
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: netskyblue on September 26, 2019, 06:13:21 AM
My take on this - the bank's mistake was 100% an error.  Somebody keyed in a wrong digit or something, shit happens.

The couple spending the money was 100% a deliberate decision on their part.  There can be no argument made that they thought they were entitled to this money, or they had "no way of knowing" where it came from or where it should go back to.  They knew, and they decided to do what they did regardless.

The bank is absolutely in the right to demand the money back.  HOWEVER.  Charging late/interest fees when they took their sweet time to figure out the error seems a bit shady to me.  And if it happened to me, I would absolutely demand that the bank pay me the interest I earn on my bank balance, for that full balance, for the length of time they had it sitting in my account.  THAT'S what their error should cost them.

Now, I might feel differently about the couple if it was say, a couple hundred dollars that they then spent not realizing it wasn't their couple hundred.  I'd be more inclined to believe they were ignorant of the situation if the amount could reasonably be argued to be something they might have thought was theirs.  (They should still be required to pay it back in a reasonable time frame, but perhaps not punished for the mistake of having spent it).
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wrenchturner on September 26, 2019, 09:22:38 AM
"Shit happens" doesn't scale well.  It would work for $12 but not for $12x10^4.  No one says "shit happens" if an engineer misses a decimal place and a building collapses.

The bank has a duty of care, and was negligent.  Clerks should proofread their entries carefully when dealing with large sums.  That's within their responsibility and expertise.

These people were obstructionist when they avoided calls from the bank but the bank should liquidate the assets and eat some of the losses.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on September 26, 2019, 09:30:19 AM
"Shit happens" doesn't scale well.  It would work for $12 but not for $12x10^4.  No one says "shit happens" if an engineer misses a decimal place and a building collapses.

The bank has a duty of care, and was negligent.  Clerks should proofread their entries carefully when dealing with large sums.  That's within their responsibility and expertise.

These people were obstructionist when they avoided calls from the bank but the bank should liquidate the assets and eat some of the losses.

If you dropped your wallet on the ground and somebody found it, complete with your full information on it, would you prefer they have the attitude of "too bad so sad, Wrenchturner has the duty of care to protect his wallet, was clearly negligent, everyone knows that holding on to your wallet is within your responsibility and duty of care, etc."? Would it make you feel any better if you were able to figure out the identity of the individual who found your wallet after a few days, and after you finally got a hold of him (because he wouldn't return your calls) you find he's spent your cash, maxed your credit cards, etc.? Would you be ok with going in halfsies on that debt?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wrenchturner on September 26, 2019, 09:45:11 AM
"Shit happens" doesn't scale well.  It would work for $12 but not for $12x10^4.  No one says "shit happens" if an engineer misses a decimal place and a building collapses.

The bank has a duty of care, and was negligent.  Clerks should proofread their entries carefully when dealing with large sums.  That's within their responsibility and expertise.

These people were obstructionist when they avoided calls from the bank but the bank should liquidate the assets and eat some of the losses.

If you dropped your wallet on the ground and somebody found it, complete with your full information on it, would you prefer they have the attitude of "too bad so sad, Wrenchturner has the duty of care to protect his wallet, was clearly negligent, everyone knows that holding on to your wallet is within your responsibility and duty of care, etc."? Would it make you feel any better if you were able to figure out the identity of the individual who found your wallet after a few days, and after you finally got a hold of him (because he wouldn't return your calls) you find he's spent your cash, maxed your credit cards, etc.? Would you be ok with going in halfsies on that debt?

Your analogy is faulty.  If money falls out of my wallet with no other context I consider it gone.
Banks operate for profit and their competence is part of the deal.
I also never said they should go halfsies.  I said the bank should eat half the loss.  I hope you're never my bank teller!
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wolfpack Mustachian on September 26, 2019, 10:29:32 AM


No one's getting angry. It's a civil discussion. As for the fact that the bank can "fix" something (by paying out the funds that are stolen), no doubt it can, and no doubt in practical terms the bank is going to bear the brunt of the civil loss, but that doesn't detract from the criminality of the act. Nor does it matter that the playing field is "uneven". I am not sure why there is even a playing field here - the fact that you imply there is one means that you are trying to assign some sort of culpability apportionment when the bank has not stolen (or sought to steal) anything and it is the criminals who have stolen everything.

There are two different concepts - "responsibility" (in a causal sense) and "criminality" (in a culpability sense) - you can use different terms, but as I see it, both the bank and the criminals are responsible for the situation because the crime couldn't have happened without the inadvertent error. Only the criminals are culpable, because they are the only party to have willingly taken advantage of a situation with the intention of depriving the owner of the funds. When you use loose and enabling language like "the couple were obviously significantly at fault" and "uneven playing field" you are trying to excuse criminal responsibility, which is what I don't understand. What is the uneven playing field here?

It seemed like some were upset, but maybe not. However, Freedom certainly was - "[sorry -- that quote incensed me so much that I didn't read the following comments which make the same point]"

You're making some assumptions based on how you're seeing things versus what I'm saying in terms of playing field. Please look back at what I've said. No where did I say that the people weren't criminally responsible for their act. The comment of playing field is in regards to mistakes being made. The bank didn't steal the money so it's not a criminal act in that way per se, but there is also negligence in the legal sense, which you seem to be ignoring. The money came from somewhere and the bank was negligent with that money. That is legal responsibility, however you want to parse it.

It's not enabling language to assign fault where fault lies, and in pretty much everything in life, it's never just on one person. The couple was significantly at fault, but it is in no way equivocating to say that they couldn't have even done what they did without negligence from the bank. The bank screwed up.

The uneven playing field thing is why people aren't just jumping on the side of the bank like it seems that you are. The bank made the initial mistake. The uneven playing field is not just for this couple but for every Joe Schmo who uses a bank. When we make mistakes, as someone pointed out earlier, sometimes they reverse it and fix it and yay, that's great. But we have to go to them and jump through hoops and hope they'll fix it. When they make mistakes like this one, they hit the couple with overdraft fees tied to their initial mistake because they can. Because they have all of the leverage. Because they are the bank.

Banks can be nice and some are. The fact is, though, if a person had made a mistake of transferring this money incorrectly, they would not have had the recourse and/or ability to levy fines to essentially cover them for their mistake that the bank does. That's the uneven playing field and it in no way takes away from the literal fact that the couple criminally spent money that wasn't theirs.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on September 26, 2019, 11:20:22 AM
"Shit happens" doesn't scale well.  It would work for $12 but not for $12x10^4.  No one says "shit happens" if an engineer misses a decimal place and a building collapses.

The bank has a duty of care, and was negligent.  Clerks should proofread their entries carefully when dealing with large sums.  That's within their responsibility and expertise.

These people were obstructionist when they avoided calls from the bank but the bank should liquidate the assets and eat some of the losses.

If you dropped your wallet on the ground and somebody found it, complete with your full information on it, would you prefer they have the attitude of "too bad so sad, Wrenchturner has the duty of care to protect his wallet, was clearly negligent, everyone knows that holding on to your wallet is within your responsibility and duty of care, etc."? Would it make you feel any better if you were able to figure out the identity of the individual who found your wallet after a few days, and after you finally got a hold of him (because he wouldn't return your calls) you find he's spent your cash, maxed your credit cards, etc.? Would you be ok with going in halfsies on that debt?

Your analogy is faulty.  If money falls out of my wallet with no other context I consider it gone.
Banks operate for profit and their competence is part of the deal.
I also never said they should go halfsies.  I said the bank should eat half the loss.  I hope you're never my bank teller!

This analogy is apt when you consider that the bank really isn't the victim. The victim is whoever the money belonged to-- one of the bank's other customers who quite possibly was not the one making the mistake on the bank transfer. Mistyping a number in the destination account and not checking it (similar to dropping one's wallet) was a mistake, but the person who should have been receiving the funds made no such mistake and has a reasonable expectation of having access to the money.

If the person who made the mistake was an employee of the bank, the bank should make the victims whole and then pursue other legal options to recover the money. These might include a civil suit. I wouldn't rule out a criminal suit as a pressure tactic. Same goes for if the person who made the mistake was the person initiating the transfer. I wouldn't suggest that either of them just accept the loss.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on September 26, 2019, 11:40:36 AM
"Shit happens" doesn't scale well.  It would work for $12 but not for $12x10^4.  No one says "shit happens" if an engineer misses a decimal place and a building collapses.

The bank has a duty of care, and was negligent.  Clerks should proofread their entries carefully when dealing with large sums.  That's within their responsibility and expertise.

These people were obstructionist when they avoided calls from the bank but the bank should liquidate the assets and eat some of the losses.

If you dropped your wallet on the ground and somebody found it, complete with your full information on it, would you prefer they have the attitude of "too bad so sad, Wrenchturner has the duty of care to protect his wallet, was clearly negligent, everyone knows that holding on to your wallet is within your responsibility and duty of care, etc."? Would it make you feel any better if you were able to figure out the identity of the individual who found your wallet after a few days, and after you finally got a hold of him (because he wouldn't return your calls) you find he's spent your cash, maxed your credit cards, etc.? Would you be ok with going in halfsies on that debt?

Your analogy is faulty.  If money falls out of my wallet with no other context I consider it gone.
Banks operate for profit and their competence is part of the deal.
I also never said they should go halfsies.  I said the bank should eat half the loss.  I hope you're never my bank teller!

I stated "If you dropped your wallet on the ground...", not "If you dropped money from your wallet on the ground...". The distinction is that the former has a clear owner (assuming you carry some kind of identification in your wallet), while the latter does not and is rightfully "finders keepers" unless there is some other clearly identifying information.

Edit: To address your second point, the bank will likely have to eat a considerable portion of the loss, because as someone said earlier you can't squeeze blood from a stone. And the teller will likely be reprimanded if not fired. Does that somehow make the couple's choices in the story justifiable?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wrenchturner on September 26, 2019, 02:17:52 PM
"Shit happens" doesn't scale well.  It would work for $12 but not for $12x10^4.  No one says "shit happens" if an engineer misses a decimal place and a building collapses.

The bank has a duty of care, and was negligent.  Clerks should proofread their entries carefully when dealing with large sums.  That's within their responsibility and expertise.

These people were obstructionist when they avoided calls from the bank but the bank should liquidate the assets and eat some of the losses.

If you dropped your wallet on the ground and somebody found it, complete with your full information on it, would you prefer they have the attitude of "too bad so sad, Wrenchturner has the duty of care to protect his wallet, was clearly negligent, everyone knows that holding on to your wallet is within your responsibility and duty of care, etc."? Would it make you feel any better if you were able to figure out the identity of the individual who found your wallet after a few days, and after you finally got a hold of him (because he wouldn't return your calls) you find he's spent your cash, maxed your credit cards, etc.? Would you be ok with going in halfsies on that debt?

Your analogy is faulty.  If money falls out of my wallet with no other context I consider it gone.
Banks operate for profit and their competence is part of the deal.
I also never said they should go halfsies.  I said the bank should eat half the loss.  I hope you're never my bank teller!

I stated "If you dropped your wallet on the ground...", not "If you dropped money from your wallet on the ground...". The distinction is that the former has a clear owner (assuming you carry some kind of identification in your wallet), while the latter does not and is rightfully "finders keepers" unless there is some other clearly identifying information.

Edit: To address your second point, the bank will likely have to eat a considerable portion of the loss, because as someone said earlier you can't squeeze blood from a stone. And the teller will likely be reprimanded if not fired. Does that somehow make the couple's choices in the story justifiable?

Money appearing in my account doesn't have a clear owner.   That's my point.  Unlike a wallet.   Maybe Mr Beast liked something I wrote on Twitter!

I never attempted to justify the behavior of the people in the story.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on September 26, 2019, 03:09:11 PM
<SNIP>

Money appearing in my account doesn't have a clear owner.   That's my point.  Unlike a wallet.   Maybe Mr Beast liked something I wrote on Twitter!

I never attempted to justify the behavior of the people in the story.

The owner was probably pretty clear to the couple. The couple knew that they weren't the lawful owner, and they could certainly spend five minutes calling the bank (who was the fairly clear owner) and rectifying the situation. Just as the finder of the hypothetical wallet should do.

I'll take back my comment on justification, though claiming an act of negligence is somehow equivalent to a crime seems a lot like justifying bad behavior.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 27, 2019, 05:18:16 AM
<SNIP>

Money appearing in my account doesn't have a clear owner.   That's my point.  Unlike a wallet.   Maybe Mr Beast liked something I wrote on Twitter!

I never attempted to justify the behavior of the people in the story.

The owner was probably pretty clear to the couple. The couple knew that they weren't the lawful owner, and they could certainly spend five minutes calling the bank (who was the fairly clear owner) and rectifying the situation. Just as the finder of the hypothetical wallet should do.

I'll take back my comment on justification, though claiming an act of negligence is somehow equivalent to a crime seems a lot like justifying bad behavior.

Conflating civil error/negligence (that of the bank) as being equal, in terms of apportionment of loss, with criminal malice is classic gaslighting and victim blaming. It is a deplorable thing to do.

Imagine for example if the account-holder herself accidentally transferred $120k to the criminals, and they just spent the money. It's still a combination of a clerical error (negligence) and a crime. However, something tells me wrench turner would be somewhat more sympathetic towards the account-holder than the bank. Why? A clerical error is a clerical error. Doesn't change the nature of the crime.

Some people in this thread just don't like banks, which (although off topic) is somewhat strange because there is no better device, other than perhaps the slot machine, for taking money from the stupid and distributing it as dividends to the smart.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wrenchturner on September 27, 2019, 07:20:09 AM
The bank has a duty of care.  they operate for profit based in part on their competence.  their balances are forced to be insured by federal legislation, which illustrates my argument that they have a high level of responsibility. 

citizens do not have the same responsibilities with their financial engagements.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GuitarStv on September 27, 2019, 07:41:43 AM
If I invest 120,000$ in a non-traded REIT for a few months . . . then realize I made a huge mistake and ask for my money back, will the bank give everything back?  Or will they charge me a shit ton of fees initially investing, then a shit ton of fees to get my money back that are never to be recouped?  Spoiler - it's the latter . . . people have to pay for their mistakes.  I don't see why a bank should be exempt from this rule.

While the couple who got the money were obviously idiots to spend it all, I don't think the bank should be allowed to recoup the full amount.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on September 27, 2019, 08:53:34 AM
If I invest 120,000$ in a non-traded REIT for a few months . . . then realize I made a huge mistake and ask for my money back, will the bank give everything back?  Or will they charge me a shit ton of fees initially investing, then a shit ton of fees to get my money back that are never to be recouped?  Spoiler - it's the latter . . . people have to pay for their mistakes.  I don't see why a bank should be exempt from this rule.

While the couple who got the money were obviously idiots to spend it all, I don't think the bank should be allowed to recoup the full amount.

Again, this is a completely different scenario. Even if you accidentally invested in a REIT (intending to invest in something else), it is your money and your decision (even if it was a mistake) and yes you would suffer any losses (or gains).

A better scenario would be if you opened your own Bank of GuitarStv, and a Mustachian asked you to invest their money in REITs, but instead you accidentally transferred the money to Billy Joe and Betty Sue, who spent it all. You would be on the hook for making the investor whole (plus interest made in REITs) as soon as you discover the mistake, because that was the lawful transaction and it is your duty. You would also probably do whatever is in your power to recoup as much of the unlawfully spent money as possible. Is the Bank of GuitarStv probably going to have to eat some losses? Absolutely. Should the Bank of GuitarStv roll over and declare bankruptcy? Oh hell no, it should do everything within its power to recoup as much of the loss as possible. Now, it could probably better recoup some of the money by working out a payment plan and not sending these people to prison so they can work, but at the same time if they couldn't recoup anything I wouldn't feel the slightest bit of sadness for those people to learn a valuable lesson behind bars.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: ender on September 27, 2019, 09:01:37 AM
If I invest 120,000$ in a non-traded REIT for a few months . . . then realize I made a huge mistake and ask for my money back, will the bank give everything back?  Or will they charge me a shit ton of fees initially investing, then a shit ton of fees to get my money back that are never to be recouped?  Spoiler - it's the latter . . . people have to pay for their mistakes.  I don't see why a bank should be exempt from this rule.

While the couple who got the money were obviously idiots to spend it all, I don't think the bank should be allowed to recoup the full amount.

Again, this is a completely different scenario. Even if you accidentally invested in a REIT (intending to invest in something else), it is your money and your decision (even if it was a mistake) and yes you would suffer any losses (or gains).

A better scenario would be if you opened your own Bank of GuitarStv, and a Mustachian asked you to invest their money in REITs, but instead you accidentally transferred the money to Billy Joe and Betty Sue, who spent it all. You would be on the hook for making the investor whole (plus interest made in REITs) as soon as you discover the mistake, because that was the lawful transaction and it is your duty. You would also probably do whatever is in your power to recoup as much of the unlawfully spent money as possible. Is the Bank of GuitarStv probably going to have to eat some losses? Absolutely. Should the Bank of GuitarStv roll over and declare bankruptcy? Oh hell no, it should do everything within its power to recoup as much of the loss as possible. Now, it could probably better recoup some of the money by working out a payment plan and not sending these people to prison so they can work, but at the same time if they couldn't recoup anything I wouldn't feel the slightest bit of sadness for those people to learn a valuable lesson behind bars.

Alternatively, by having some responsibility for this type of mistake, banks might be encouraged to create processes that are more resilient/error proof so they don't accidentally put money into the wrong accounts.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GuitarStv on September 27, 2019, 09:07:24 AM
If I invest 120,000$ in a non-traded REIT for a few months . . . then realize I made a huge mistake and ask for my money back, will the bank give everything back?  Or will they charge me a shit ton of fees initially investing, then a shit ton of fees to get my money back that are never to be recouped?  Spoiler - it's the latter . . . people have to pay for their mistakes.  I don't see why a bank should be exempt from this rule.

While the couple who got the money were obviously idiots to spend it all, I don't think the bank should be allowed to recoup the full amount.

Again, this is a completely different scenario. Even if you accidentally invested in a REIT (intending to invest in something else), it is your money and your decision (even if it was a mistake) and yes you would suffer any losses (or gains).

I don't agree with you that it's really a different scenario.

I do online investing.  It's quite easy for me to make a couple incorrect clicks of a mouse and invest in the wrong thing.  If I do this, not only do I suffer any losses and gains, but I also pay the full costs of various fees charged to move the money in and out.  When I (as an individual) make a mistake I am penalized for it.

When a bank makes a mistake (due to incorrect mouse clicks on typing the wrong account number in - whatever), they aren't penalized for it.  They expect to get the full amount of their money back . . . which I think is unreasonable.  The errors are all on the part of the bank.  First they made a mistake in the transfer of money.  Then they made a mistake by not catching this error and correcting the bad transfer (they let it go on for an extended period).  Then they made a mistake in allowing the people to take money out of their account that wasn't theirs.  There's little real incentive for the bank to correct the problem if they are never held accountable for it.


A better scenario would be if you opened your own Bank of GuitarStv, and a Mustachian asked you to invest their money in REITs, but instead you accidentally transferred the money to Billy Joe and Betty Sue, who spent it all. You would be on the hook for making the investor whole (plus interest made in REITs) as soon as you discover the mistake, because that was the lawful transaction and it is your duty. You would also probably do whatever is in your power to recoup as much of the unlawfully spent money as possible. Is the Bank of GuitarStv probably going to have to eat some losses?
 Absolutely. Should the Bank of GuitarStv roll over and declare bankruptcy? Oh hell no, it should do everything within its power to recoup as much of the loss as possible. Now, it could probably better recoup some of the money by working out a payment plan and not sending these people to prison so they can work, but at the same time if they couldn't recoup anything I wouldn't feel the slightest bit of sadness for those people to learn a valuable lesson behind bars.

If the Bank of GuitarStv is making enough regular and big mistakes that one bad transfer is going to prevent them from operating as a financial institution . . . absolutely they should go bankrupt.  I'd much prefer that the people handling my money are competent with money, rather than good at lawsuits to fix their screwups.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wrenchturner on September 27, 2019, 09:27:45 AM
There's also something weird here(ethically) with the  $100k overdraft.  Seems ursurious/extortionate to impose a great debt on people without their expressed consent post hoc.  Although it's probably covered in the terms(maybe not though, who has access to that kind of overdraft?)

(I need to brush up on my Latin if I'm going to engage with the Australian lawyer).

Edit: it's like a fungibility problem or something.   Only banks can take away money that was given, and only because it's abstracted in electronic form.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on September 27, 2019, 10:18:18 AM
Nobody's denying that the bank fucked up, and in this case they are going to pay a heavy price (lawyers aren't cheap, and they'll be lucky to get 50¢ on the dollar for the liquidated assets). This point's not under contention. Banks have a large incentive to get transfers correct for a number of reasons, so bringing up that banks should be penalized for making a mistake is in my opinion irrelevant, as they often are.

The better question to ask is, what kind of society do we want to live in? One that protects property (and aims to correct mistakes related to incorrect transfers of property) or one that says its ok to blow someone else's money on whatever we feel like because someone made a mistake. We're all investors here, and we entrust a large amount of money to companies that we expect to be financially responsible. As index investors, we're removed from a lot of the checks and balances placed on these companies to ensure semi-fiduciary behavior for investors. But we're protected by other investors who ensure money is being spent appropriately and government laws and regulating institutions that also ensure our money is not being blown away. I don't think anybody would argue that a fiduciary responsibility for someone else's money is a bad thing.

Last analogy: Let's say a carpenter is going to work on a house, and he sends a part-time helper to the house a week ahead of time to place cabinets and tools under the porch. Unfortunately this helper misheard the house number and therefore dropped them off at the wrong house. When the homeowners of the incorrect house arrive and notice all of this equipment in their backyard, they also happen to notice the owner's information all over the equipment. A week later, the carpenter arrives at the correct house and doesn't see any of the equipment; the correct homeowners haven't seen it either. The carpenter finally gets a hold of his helper, they realize the issue, and then he goes to the house where the equipment was dropped off, only to not see the equipment under the porch and to be completely ignored by the people inside (meanwhile he sees a fancy new RV out front). What would you do if you were the carpenter in this situation? What should be the laws governing property that is accidentally placed in the possession of someone who is not the lawful owner? What if the placement wasn't even accidental; what if the carpenter was working on a house, left his tools there overnight, only to come to finish up the next day and realize his tools were pawned because the owners of the house felt the tools now belonged to them since they were on their property? What about a bicycle that is placed on public property, is that ok to take since it isn't in someone's personal possession? By that logic, shouldn't it also be ok to cut the lock on that bike, since someone who walked up to it can now claim it is in their personal possession?

I'm really struggling to understand others' perceptions of where property rights should exist, especially in the case of a mistake. My understanding is property should be transferred at agreed upon terms between two parties. When a mistake is made (such as when a cashier accidentally charges me too much (or too little) for an item at a supermarket), both parties should be able to lawfully rectify the situation in accordance with the terms of the transaction.

Sorry for being longwinded, it's probably time for me to bow out of this conversation.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Samuel on September 27, 2019, 10:20:51 AM
The problem with a lot of these hypothetical situations is that they involve money moving from one institution to another, when the actual situation is a bank moving funds in house. Once money leaves an institution it's obviously going to be difficult to undo a mistake without effort (and/or law suits).

You don't own the money in your bank account the same way you own the money in your wallet. You've agreed to give the bank your money in exchange for what is essentially an IOU that is guaranteed by the government. The bank has legal access to your account to add or remove funds for legitimate purposes, which would include undoing obvious errors.

The bank does have responsibility for the error and will end up losing a lot of money because of it. Whether it rises to the level of negligence or not depends a lot on information we don't have (are their processes sloppier than is typical in the industry? was the teller know to be error prone? etc). But to say the bank shouldn't be allowed to undo an obvious mistake without penalty is weird to me. All the couple had to do to avoid trouble was do absolutely nothing at all. The money appears, then the money eventually disappears. Or better yet, pick up the phone and let the bank know they made a mistake.

There really is a "f the banks, f corporations" attitude here which is disappointing. Who cares if the overall playing field isn't level. In this situation the bank is clearly the victim of a crime.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: prudent_one on September 27, 2019, 10:36:12 AM
One thing I learned from this thread is that people on the internet never get tired of torturing analogies.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: ender on September 27, 2019, 10:37:13 AM
Nobody's denying that the bank fucked up, and in this case they are going to pay a heavy price (lawyers aren't cheap, and they'll be lucky to get 50¢ on the dollar for the liquidated assets). This point's not under contention. Banks have a large incentive to get transfers correct for a number of reasons, so bringing up that banks should be penalized for making a mistake is in my opinion irrelevant, as they often are.


By using language like this, you are forcing people into either a camp of "the couple is 100% at fault and bank 0%" or "the couple is 0% at fault and the bank is 100%."

Both the bank and this couple can be wrong in this situation and culpable for mistakes, in different ways. A lot of people in the "couple screwed up" group seem to be acting as if the bank did nothing wrong.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on September 27, 2019, 11:30:30 AM
Nobody's denying that the bank fucked up, and in this case they are going to pay a heavy price (lawyers aren't cheap, and they'll be lucky to get 50¢ on the dollar for the liquidated assets). This point's not under contention. Banks have a large incentive to get transfers correct for a number of reasons, so bringing up that banks should be penalized for making a mistake is in my opinion irrelevant, as they often are.


By using language like this, you are forcing people into either a camp of "the couple is 100% at fault and bank 0%" or "the couple is 0% at fault and the bank is 100%."

Both the bank and this couple can be wrong in this situation and culpable for mistakes, in different ways. A lot of people in the "couple screwed up" group seem to be acting as if the bank did nothing wrong.

You seem to be completely misunderstanding me. The bank messed up and will have to pay for it (I thought my last statement was clear). But only one party did any criminal actions.

To continue the torturous analogies: If a bank was broken into and robbed, clearly the bank is going to have to pay on some level (whether or not its security was lax), but only one party committed a crime. This example obviously differs with regards to criminal intent, so the punishment for the crime should obviously be greater.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GuitarStv on September 27, 2019, 11:56:20 AM
Nobody's denying that the bank fucked up, and in this case they are going to pay a heavy price (lawyers aren't cheap, and they'll be lucky to get 50¢ on the dollar for the liquidated assets). This point's not under contention. Banks have a large incentive to get transfers correct for a number of reasons, so bringing up that banks should be penalized for making a mistake is in my opinion irrelevant, as they often are.


By using language like this, you are forcing people into either a camp of "the couple is 100% at fault and bank 0%" or "the couple is 0% at fault and the bank is 100%."

Both the bank and this couple can be wrong in this situation and culpable for mistakes, in different ways. A lot of people in the "couple screwed up" group seem to be acting as if the bank did nothing wrong.

You seem to be completely misunderstanding me. The bank messed up and will have to pay for it (I thought my last statement was clear). But only one party did any criminal actions.

To continue the torturous analogies: If a bank was broken into and robbed, clearly the bank is going to have to pay on some level (whether or not its security was lax), but only one party committed a crime. This example obviously differs with regards to criminal intent, so the punishment for the crime should obviously be greater.

A bank that's broken into hasn't done anything wrong.  A bank that dumps money into someone's account and allows them to remove that money has.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: ender on September 27, 2019, 12:04:51 PM
A bank that's broken into hasn't done anything wrong.  A bank that dumps money into someone's account and allows them to remove that money has.

Adding to this, it's really insightful to check into laws around packages being mailed to the wrong person.

If I mail a package to the wrong address, I'm entirely out of luck.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Villanelle on September 27, 2019, 12:24:18 PM
Banks are assholes.  Sure.

I'm someone who doesn't think that child murders should be assaulted in prison.  And asshole banks shouldn't be stolen from, either. 

A tainted victim is still a victim.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on September 27, 2019, 12:27:45 PM
Nobody's denying that the bank fucked up, and in this case they are going to pay a heavy price (lawyers aren't cheap, and they'll be lucky to get 50¢ on the dollar for the liquidated assets). This point's not under contention. Banks have a large incentive to get transfers correct for a number of reasons, so bringing up that banks should be penalized for making a mistake is in my opinion irrelevant, as they often are.


By using language like this, you are forcing people into either a camp of "the couple is 100% at fault and bank 0%" or "the couple is 0% at fault and the bank is 100%."

Both the bank and this couple can be wrong in this situation and culpable for mistakes, in different ways. A lot of people in the "couple screwed up" group seem to be acting as if the bank did nothing wrong.

You seem to be completely misunderstanding me. The bank messed up and will have to pay for it (I thought my last statement was clear). But only one party did any criminal actions.

To continue the torturous analogies: If a bank was broken into and robbed, clearly the bank is going to have to pay on some level (whether or not its security was lax), but only one party committed a crime. This example obviously differs with regards to criminal intent, so the punishment for the crime should obviously be greater.

A bank that's broken into hasn't done anything wrong.  A bank that dumps money into someone's account and allows them to remove that money has.

Ah, but a bank should clearly know that criminals want to break in, and should therefore have strong enough security to deter theft (just as they should have strong enough safeguards to deter all mistakes). Or are banks not required to be secure?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wrenchturner on September 27, 2019, 01:15:37 PM
There really is a "f the banks, f corporations" attitude here which is disappointing. Who cares if the overall playing field isn't level. In this situation the bank is clearly the victim of a crime.
I'm really not seeing this attitude in this thread.  More like an unsympathetic, calculating attitude which is very bank-like.  How many houses get repossessed for the same attitude?  It's a banking modus operandi (still working on that latin).
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wolfpack Mustachian on September 27, 2019, 01:52:22 PM
Nobody's denying that the bank fucked up, and in this case they are going to pay a heavy price (lawyers aren't cheap, and they'll be lucky to get 50¢ on the dollar for the liquidated assets). This point's not under contention. Banks have a large incentive to get transfers correct for a number of reasons, so bringing up that banks should be penalized for making a mistake is in my opinion irrelevant, as they often are.


By using language like this, you are forcing people into either a camp of "the couple is 100% at fault and bank 0%" or "the couple is 0% at fault and the bank is 100%."

Both the bank and this couple can be wrong in this situation and culpable for mistakes, in different ways. A lot of people in the "couple screwed up" group seem to be acting as if the bank did nothing wrong.

You seem to be completely misunderstanding me. The bank messed up and will have to pay for it (I thought my last statement was clear). But only one party did any criminal actions.

To continue the torturous analogies: If a bank was broken into and robbed, clearly the bank is going to have to pay on some level (whether or not its security was lax), but only one party committed a crime. This example obviously differs with regards to criminal intent, so the punishment for the crime should obviously be greater.

I think I've put my finger on the difference, and I won't even use an analogy :-)...I'll use a what if

OK, so as far as I know everyone is for the couple being criminally punished. Full stop. If someone on here has said that they shouldn't be criminally prosecuted, then please copy and paste it. With literally everyone agreeing that they should be criminally prosecuted, there is no reason for you or anyone to keep saying that people are asking for the couple to get off or that they're minimizing their crime. Being prosecuted, going to jail - that's pretty much all anyone who wants justice could hope for. Being for that isn't exactly promoting the wild wild west in here or spitting on the rule of law. I don't know how to be any clearer than that.

What people on my side (I believe) or at least I'll speak for me are frustrated at is banks taking zero responsibility in this situation and assigning fees in comparable situations or even in this situation when it's literally their fault that the situation came to be. You keep saying the bank messed up and will pay for it, but that's a defacto situation, something that will happen probably because the couple doesn't have enough money to recoup it. If the couple was rich, I'm pretty sure the bank would get their entire amount of money and fees too. Saying you're acknowledging the bank will have to pay for it because the couple doesn't have enough money to pay it back is simply acknowledging what's going to happen in this particular situation because you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip. They have no money. That's not the same as truly assigning them responsibility for their fault (again, because you're using the fact that the couple has no money to pay it back as meaning the bank will be taking responsibility) - yes in this situation, but again, they wouldn't have to take any responsibility for their mistake if the couple had had enough money to cover it.

Now for my what if. What if this situation had happened but instead of 120k, it was much less. What if the couple didn't really pay enough attention and spent the money the bank gave them not even realizing that they had. Maybe a stretch, but let's just say what if. What would happen - I'll tell you. The bank would kick their butt with fees and things for the bank's mistake. The fact that fees are attempted to be charged in a situation where the bank put the money in a person's account shows that the bank is penalizing another entity for their mistake. That's where I'm saying it's not a level playing field. That's why people are emphasizing the bank's responsibility. The bank can make a mistake and charge someone else for something triggered by a situation they caused...and somehow people are arguing that someone getting upset at banks for having the upper hand in this and every situation are promoting lawlessness or theft. No, I'm just saying banks will get no sympathy from me. They make mistakes. They even penalize people for their own mistakes. They don't take responsibility for anything. Sometimes reality screws them over like in this case where they can't get money back from where it doesn't exist anymore. That doesn't excuse them for everything above or just make it all alright.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 27, 2019, 02:36:53 PM
There really is a "f the banks, f corporations" attitude here which is disappointing. Who cares if the overall playing field isn't level. In this situation the bank is clearly the victim of a crime.
I'm really not seeing this attitude in this thread.  More like an unsympathetic, calculating attitude which is very bank-like.  How many houses get repossessed for the same attitude?  It's a banking modus operandi (still working on that latin).

You are constantly going on about how the bank is at fault, for an error which was easily reversible if not exploited by criminal theft, and yet you call the defenders of the bank unsympathetic and calculating??? I would say that deliberately spending money that was in your account (which you must have known was not yours), and evading contact from the bank, is both unsympathetic (to the bank but more importantly to the owner of the money) and obviously very calculating.

I'm glad they're in jail. As they should be. Respect the property that is yours and that which is not yours.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: ender on September 27, 2019, 02:39:23 PM
There really is a "f the banks, f corporations" attitude here which is disappointing. Who cares if the overall playing field isn't level. In this situation the bank is clearly the victim of a crime.
I'm really not seeing this attitude in this thread.  More like an unsympathetic, calculating attitude which is very bank-like.  How many houses get repossessed for the same attitude?  It's a banking modus operandi (still working on that latin).

You are constantly going on about how the bank is at fault, for an error which was easily reversible if not exploited by criminal theft, and yet you call the defenders of the bank unsympathetic and calculating??? I would say that deliberately spending money that was in your account (which you must have known was not yours), and evading contact from the bank, is both unsympathetic (to the bank but more importantly to the owner of the money) and obviously very calculating.

I'm glad they're in jail. As they should be. Respect the property that is yours and that which is not yours.

Uh, what?


Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wolfpack Mustachian on September 27, 2019, 02:48:49 PM
There really is a "f the banks, f corporations" attitude here which is disappointing. Who cares if the overall playing field isn't level. In this situation the bank is clearly the victim of a crime.
I'm really not seeing this attitude in this thread.  More like an unsympathetic, calculating attitude which is very bank-like.  How many houses get repossessed for the same attitude?  It's a banking modus operandi (still working on that latin).

You are constantly going on about how the bank is at fault, for an error which was easily reversible if not exploited by criminal theft, and yet you call the defenders of the bank unsympathetic and calculating??? I would say that deliberately spending money that was in your account (which you must have known was not yours), and evading contact from the bank, is both unsympathetic (to the bank but more importantly to the owner of the money) and obviously very calculating.

I'm glad they're in jail. As they should be. Respect the property that is yours and that which is not yours.

I kind of address this in my post above, but please post anyone on this thread that has said the couple should not be charged with a crime. We all agree on it. We don't need to keep talking about it because everyone agrees with it. The only people going on and on about it are people with your viewpoint. At this point, it's hard to call it anything other than a straw man. I literally don't know how to make it any clearer. Arguing that the bank has some responsibility =/ the couple didn't commit a crime. The couple committed a crime. The couple broke the law. The couple are criminals. The couple did not not commit a crime....:)
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GuitarStv on September 27, 2019, 02:52:57 PM
Nobody's denying that the bank fucked up, and in this case they are going to pay a heavy price (lawyers aren't cheap, and they'll be lucky to get 50¢ on the dollar for the liquidated assets). This point's not under contention. Banks have a large incentive to get transfers correct for a number of reasons, so bringing up that banks should be penalized for making a mistake is in my opinion irrelevant, as they often are.


By using language like this, you are forcing people into either a camp of "the couple is 100% at fault and bank 0%" or "the couple is 0% at fault and the bank is 100%."

Both the bank and this couple can be wrong in this situation and culpable for mistakes, in different ways. A lot of people in the "couple screwed up" group seem to be acting as if the bank did nothing wrong.

You seem to be completely misunderstanding me. The bank messed up and will have to pay for it (I thought my last statement was clear). But only one party did any criminal actions.

To continue the torturous analogies: If a bank was broken into and robbed, clearly the bank is going to have to pay on some level (whether or not its security was lax), but only one party committed a crime. This example obviously differs with regards to criminal intent, so the punishment for the crime should obviously be greater.

A bank that's broken into hasn't done anything wrong.  A bank that dumps money into someone's account and allows them to remove that money has.

Ah, but a bank should clearly know that criminals want to break in, and should therefore have strong enough security to deter theft (just as they should have strong enough safeguards to deter all mistakes). Or are banks not required to be secure?

A bank should know that people want to break in - agreed.  If the bank leaves the doors unlocked and the vault open, then they have done something wrong (were lax in their duty to protect the wealth of other people), and share some responsibility for the theft.  I'm willing to bet that the bank wouldn't be able to get insurers to pay for the losses in that case.  That's not very typical though.

By the same token, if the bank hands money over to a client's account and then facilitates their removal of the money from the bank I don't think the bank should be considered blameless and should shoulder an amount of financial loss.  While not typical, this kind of 'leaving the virtual bank doors open' does happen surprisingly often.

Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on September 27, 2019, 03:01:11 PM
By the same token, if the bank hands money over to a client's account and then facilitates their removal of the money from the bank I don't think the bank should be considered blameless and should shoulder an amount of financial loss.  While not typical, this kind of 'leaving the virtual bank doors open' does happen surprisingly often.

Please tell us, how much of the loss should the bank shoulder? (Not de facto how much they will shoulder, but the law should state that if the bank places $x in someone's account by mistake, that person is entitled to y% and the bank to 1-y%. Call it a finder's fee.)
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 27, 2019, 03:10:03 PM
There really is a "f the banks, f corporations" attitude here which is disappointing. Who cares if the overall playing field isn't level. In this situation the bank is clearly the victim of a crime.
I'm really not seeing this attitude in this thread.  More like an unsympathetic, calculating attitude which is very bank-like.  How many houses get repossessed for the same attitude?  It's a banking modus operandi (still working on that latin).

You are constantly going on about how the bank is at fault, for an error which was easily reversible if not exploited by criminal theft, and yet you call the defenders of the bank unsympathetic and calculating??? I would say that deliberately spending money that was in your account (which you must have known was not yours), and evading contact from the bank, is both unsympathetic (to the bank but more importantly to the owner of the money) and obviously very calculating.

I'm glad they're in jail. As they should be. Respect the property that is yours and that which is not yours.

I kind of address this in my post above, but please post anyone on this thread that has said the couple should not be charged with a crime. We all agree on it. We don't need to keep talking about it because everyone agrees with it. The only people going on and on about it are people with your viewpoint. At this point, it's hard to call it anything other than a straw man. I literally don't know how to make it any clearer. Arguing that the bank has some responsibility =/ the couple didn't commit a crime. The couple committed a crime. The couple broke the law. The couple are criminals. The couple did not not commit a crime....:)

The post you are missing is that the bank are victims of a crime. Imagine you leave your car unlocked and someone steals it. Okay, you've been the victim of a crime. You're partly at fault for being silly, and now you may (or may not) have some difficulty recovering your loss from your insurer, but it doesn't make you any less the victim of a crime, even if there is another victim as well (say, the blameless co-owner who didn't leave the doors unlocked).

People in this thread are focusing on blaming the bank for the fault, instead of concentrating on the crime at the heart of it. That is victim blaming. The bank is a victim. It is possible to be causally at fault (in part) - for example, by leaving a car door unlocked in a bad neighbourhood - whilst still being very much a victim.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wrenchturner on September 27, 2019, 03:16:10 PM
There really is a "f the banks, f corporations" attitude here which is disappointing. Who cares if the overall playing field isn't level. In this situation the bank is clearly the victim of a crime.
I'm really not seeing this attitude in this thread.  More like an unsympathetic, calculating attitude which is very bank-like.  How many houses get repossessed for the same attitude?  It's a banking modus operandi (still working on that latin).

You are constantly going on about how the bank is at fault, for an error which was easily reversible if not exploited by criminal theft, and yet you call the defenders of the bank unsympathetic and calculating??? I would say that deliberately spending money that was in your account (which you must have known was not yours), and evading contact from the bank, is both unsympathetic (to the bank but more importantly to the owner of the money) and obviously very calculating.

I'm glad they're in jail. As they should be. Respect the property that is yours and that which is not yours.

The unsympathetic and calculating people are the people like me, arguing that the bank should get treated the way they treat others.   I think thats where you misunderstood me.
This is business, after all.  The clerical error is the bank's problem.  No one is saying these people should have no consequences or get to keep all the stuff they bought.

Houses get foreclosed on when the math is unfavorable, with little regard for the people that live in said houses.   I find it difficult to sympathize with the bank's clear negligence here.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: ender on September 27, 2019, 03:27:09 PM
The post you are missing is that the bank are victims of a crime. Imagine you leave your car unlocked and someone steals it. Okay, you've been the victim of a crime. You're partly at fault for being silly, and now you may (or may not) have some difficulty recovering your loss from your insurer, but it doesn't make you any less the victim of a crime, even if there is another victim as well (say, the blameless co-owner who didn't leave the doors unlocked).

People in this thread are focusing on blaming the bank for the fault, instead of concentrating on the crime at the heart of it. That is victim blaming. The bank is a victim. It is possible to be causally at fault (in part) - for example, by leaving a car door unlocked in a bad neighbourhood - whilst still being very much a victim.

A more relevant analogy is parking your car in someone else's garage and being surprised someone did something to it.


Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Villanelle on September 27, 2019, 03:57:40 PM
The post you are missing is that the bank are victims of a crime. Imagine you leave your car unlocked and someone steals it. Okay, you've been the victim of a crime. You're partly at fault for being silly, and now you may (or may not) have some difficulty recovering your loss from your insurer, but it doesn't make you any less the victim of a crime, even if there is another victim as well (say, the blameless co-owner who didn't leave the doors unlocked).

People in this thread are focusing on blaming the bank for the fault, instead of concentrating on the crime at the heart of it. That is victim blaming. The bank is a victim. It is possible to be causally at fault (in part) - for example, by leaving a car door unlocked in a bad neighbourhood - whilst still being very much a victim.

A more relevant analogy is parking your car in someone else's garage and being surprised someone did something to it.


Except one is probably a fairly easy mistake to make--fat fingering something and then missing it on a double check, perhaps--and the other takes pretty gross negligence.

For those who thinks the bank is responsible, I assume you also think the specific employee who made the mistake or skipped a process is responsible as well, right?  Wherever the error occurred, that can be traced back to a human, whether that's data entry or programming or whatever.  That person is also responsible, no?

It's still not entirely clear what those who think the bank is responsible mean, but at least in some cases, it seems like they think the bank should eat the error as part of their responsibility.  So should that teller/data enterer/programmer/whatever-er have to pony up some or all of the $120k?  After all, the bank likely had a policy intended to prevent this, so it wasn't really "bank" error, but human error.  So that human should owe the $120k, no? 

If the bank had a process intended to prevent or catch this kind of thing, then clerical error isn't the bank's fault, it's the clerk's fault. 

If someone made a deposit and was given a receipt and they didn't check it to make sure it went into account 12345, not 12346, then they are responsible, too, right?  At least if the teller asked them to confirm the information.  So that person is responsible as well.  I guess maybe they can split the $120k payback with the clerk. 
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 27, 2019, 04:24:14 PM
There really is a "f the banks, f corporations" attitude here which is disappointing. Who cares if the overall playing field isn't level. In this situation the bank is clearly the victim of a crime.
I'm really not seeing this attitude in this thread.  More like an unsympathetic, calculating attitude which is very bank-like.  How many houses get repossessed for the same attitude?  It's a banking modus operandi (still working on that latin).

You are constantly going on about how the bank is at fault, for an error which was easily reversible if not exploited by criminal theft, and yet you call the defenders of the bank unsympathetic and calculating??? I would say that deliberately spending money that was in your account (which you must have known was not yours), and evading contact from the bank, is both unsympathetic (to the bank but more importantly to the owner of the money) and obviously very calculating.

I'm glad they're in jail. As they should be. Respect the property that is yours and that which is not yours.

The unsympathetic and calculating people are the people like me, arguing that the bank should get treated the way they treat others.   I think thats where you misunderstood me.
This is business, after all.  The clerical error is the bank's problem.  No one is saying these people should have no consequences or get to keep all the stuff they bought.

Houses get foreclosed on when the math is unfavorable, with little regard for the people that live in said houses.   I find it difficult to sympathize with the bank's clear negligence here.

The bank should get treated the way they treat others - are you saying that if I accidentally deposited money into the wrong account the bank would avoid my attempts to contact them and dissipate the money entirely? Because as I said upthread, it happened to me once and I paid nothing for the bank's rectification.

Foreclosure is their right upon default by a borrower. That has nothing to do with this (inadvertence). Also, banks don't foreclose if you accidentally miss 1, or even 2, payments. So...your reasoning is not apt.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on September 27, 2019, 04:26:33 PM
The post you are missing is that the bank are victims of a crime. Imagine you leave your car unlocked and someone steals it. Okay, you've been the victim of a crime. You're partly at fault for being silly, and now you may (or may not) have some difficulty recovering your loss from your insurer, but it doesn't make you any less the victim of a crime, even if there is another victim as well (say, the blameless co-owner who didn't leave the doors unlocked).

People in this thread are focusing on blaming the bank for the fault, instead of concentrating on the crime at the heart of it. That is victim blaming. The bank is a victim. It is possible to be causally at fault (in part) - for example, by leaving a car door unlocked in a bad neighbourhood - whilst still being very much a victim.

A more relevant analogy is parking your car in someone else's garage and being surprised someone did something to it.

I think your analogy is sound. Well, I wouldn't be surprised if they clamped it or towed it and made me pay for that. I would be surprised if they stole it and never gave it back, though.

Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Kyle Schuant on September 27, 2019, 04:47:15 PM
Alternatively, by having some responsibility for this type of mistake, banks might be encouraged to create processes that are more resilient/error proof so they don't accidentally put money into the wrong accounts.
Correct.

I'm reminded of that Seth Godin comment about credit cards: rather than making their storage of the number more secure against hacking, perhaps it'd be better to make it less important and thus less likely to be hacked. Meanwhile I binned a credit card system Stripe because they (after taking payments) suddenly decided they wanted photo ID, too - credit card number plus photo ID, "That's a pretty attractive data bundle to hackers," I said.
"We are trusted by over one million businesses," they said.
"So you have the credit card details, date of birth of company owners, addresses and their photo ID for one million people and businesses? That makes you an even juicier target. Bye."

Asking me to join my data to theirs during what is in effect a cyberwar is like asking me to put my house in a massive ammunition store during a regular war. It seems... imprudent.

Quote from: Bloop Bloop
The bank should get treated the way they treat others
So the CEOs of the Big Four here in Australia should go to prison for theft of money, like charging fees to deceased people? I dunno, Bloop, that seems harsh. But if you say so.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GuitarStv on September 27, 2019, 07:56:35 PM
By the same token, if the bank hands money over to a client's account and then facilitates their removal of the money from the bank I don't think the bank should be considered blameless and should shoulder an amount of financial loss.  While not typical, this kind of 'leaving the virtual bank doors open' does happen surprisingly often.

Please tell us, how much of the loss should the bank shoulder? (Not de facto how much they will shoulder, but the law should state that if the bank places $x in someone's account by mistake, that person is entitled to y% and the bank to 1-y%. Call it a finder's fee.)

There's certainly a lot of room for discussion on this, but going with my gut I'd say that about 15% of total amount should be immediately non-recoverable, with the non-recoverable amount increasing by 2% per month after that.  That would both provide penalty for the error they committed initially, and incentive to quickly find their misplaced money . . . while not being unduly punitive.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: gooki on September 28, 2019, 04:27:07 AM
Quote
OK, so as far as I know everyone is for the couple being criminally punished. Full stop. If someone on here has said that they shouldn't be criminally prosecuted, then please copy and paste it.

Disagree. Criminal charges should never have been made, this is an civil legal issue only.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GatorNation on September 28, 2019, 05:48:18 AM
Not entrapment.

I'm attorney and routinely practice criminal law.

Anyone saying otherwise is being silly.

So in your professional opinion, if the FBI were to leave $120K in my living room having entered my home without my knowledge under U.S.C. § 3103a(b) would they be able to charge me with felony theft?

What if I spent the money, knowing that it wasn't "mine?"

Poor analogy.

This case is like finding a pair of car keys on the sidewalk and then stealing the car which the keys being to.

The bank accidentally deposited $$ in the wrong account. It never encouraged these people to spend it.
 
No entrapment.  These people should be prosecuted
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GatorNation on September 28, 2019, 05:49:06 AM
Quote
OK, so as far as I know everyone is for the couple being criminally punished. Full stop. If someone on here has said that they shouldn't be criminally prosecuted, then please copy and paste it.

Disagree. Criminal charges should never have been made, this is an civil legal issue only.

Disagree.  Criminal charges are more than appropriate.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wolfpack Mustachian on September 28, 2019, 07:13:52 AM
There really is a "f the banks, f corporations" attitude here which is disappointing. Who cares if the overall playing field isn't level. In this situation the bank is clearly the victim of a crime.
I'm really not seeing this attitude in this thread.  More like an unsympathetic, calculating attitude which is very bank-like.  How many houses get repossessed for the same attitude?  It's a banking modus operandi (still working on that latin).

You are constantly going on about how the bank is at fault, for an error which was easily reversible if not exploited by criminal theft, and yet you call the defenders of the bank unsympathetic and calculating??? I would say that deliberately spending money that was in your account (which you must have known was not yours), and evading contact from the bank, is both unsympathetic (to the bank but more importantly to the owner of the money) and obviously very calculating.

I'm glad they're in jail. As they should be. Respect the property that is yours and that which is not yours.

I kind of address this in my post above, but please post anyone on this thread that has said the couple should not be charged with a crime. We all agree on it. We don't need to keep talking about it because everyone agrees with it. The only people going on and on about it are people with your viewpoint. At this point, it's hard to call it anything other than a straw man. I literally don't know how to make it any clearer. Arguing that the bank has some responsibility =/ the couple didn't commit a crime. The couple committed a crime. The couple broke the law. The couple are criminals. The couple did not not commit a crime....:)

The post you are missing is that the bank are victims of a crime. Imagine you leave your car unlocked and someone steals it. Okay, you've been the victim of a crime. You're partly at fault for being silly, and now you may (or may not) have some difficulty recovering your loss from your insurer, but it doesn't make you any less the victim of a crime, even if there is another victim as well (say, the blameless co-owner who didn't leave the doors unlocked).

People in this thread are focusing on blaming the bank for the fault, instead of concentrating on the crime at the heart of it. That is victim blaming. The bank is a victim. It is possible to be causally at fault (in part) - for example, by leaving a car door unlocked in a bad neighbourhood - whilst still being very much a victim.

I really, truly, honestly, don't know how I can be more clear on the crime part. You say that I am missing the fact that the bank is a victim of a crime. I am not. I stated and restated and restated that the couple were criminals. If they're criminals, then there is a victim. The bank is the victim (assuming they restored the money wherever the money was taken from). The bank is the victim. I'm not missing it.

Now, let's move on to your other assertion, that I'm doing some convoluted type of victim blaming. This is, to put it frankly, quite ridiculous and maybe even a little insensitive. Victim blaming is an extremely important term that should be reserved for a real situation of it. Victim blaming is perfectly applicable for the classic example of short skirts and assault. It is ridiculously far removed from this situation. The bank caused the situation. They negligently put money in someone's bank account. They created the situation, and not just in any way. This is not some 80's couple with dementia who were scammed into depositing money somewhere else. The bank screwed up by being negligent in their main job! You can't just throw around victim blaming for this. If you do, you can throw it around for anything. A guy sucker punches someone and gets the crap beat out of him. "Oh it's victim blaming to mention the fact that the first guy created the situation by punching first." As this was a situation literally made possible by the bank making not just any mistake but a mistake in their job - no, calling it victim blaming in order to avoid talking about the bank's responsibility is just silly.

Second point, no one on your side has addressed the fee issue that I can tell this whole thread (except one anecdote where the bank didn't do it in one situation). The bank charges fees when they create the situation. The bank charges fees when you make a mistake. They charge fees willy nilly because they have all the power, and when someone tries to say, hey you screwed up, perhaps you should eat some of the cost on your own or perhaps there needs to be some form of pressure so that you don't do it again, that perspective is in the wrong....yea, I'm not buying it.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Chraurelius on September 29, 2019, 10:21:42 AM
How funny! I had a similar real life situation just last week, so maybe it will be easier to analyze.
I got a package to my address, but with a name no one in my family had ever heard of.  Well, it was UPS, and not illegal, so I opened it -- a $1000 iPhone and a nice Otter case were inside.  Do I get to keep them?
I did send it back, since I don't like iPhones (and it wasn't mine).  The Verizon people thought the buyer planned to steal it off my porch.  Since it had a signature required, more likely it was an inside scam.  Or if could have been an error, but who wouldn't carefully check the address on such a valuable item?
It was a huge pain to get it picked up, too.  Despite a scheduled pick up, I ended up running down the sidewalk, barefoot, yelling at the driver at the top of my lungs to stop.
Who's at fault here?  Could I legally have kept it?  I blame UPS,  who didn't check the signature, or Verizon, with inadequate security or customer service (putting in the wrong address).  Clearly, the people who received the money were morally wrong, but legally?  Criminally?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Kyle Schuant on October 01, 2019, 07:32:56 PM
No entrapment.  These people should be prosecuted
The indignation that you and the bank share could be taken more seriously if there had been any criminal or financial consequences for those causing the GFC, since after all they engaged in deliberately fraudulent practices with CDOs and misleading their own clients as to their value.

As it is, it is unclear why $120,000 is prosecutable but $700,000,000,000 is not.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: jinga nation on October 02, 2019, 10:33:01 AM
No entrapment.  These people should be prosecuted
The indignation that you and the bank share could be taken more seriously if there had been any criminal or financial consequences for those causing the GFC, since after all they engaged in deliberately fraudulent practices with CDOs and misleading their own clients as to their value.

As it is, it is unclear why $120,000 is prosecutable but $700,000,000,000 is not.
because no one has 700 hump-dillion lying around... because only banks have the computers big enough to store that. and the vaults for show.
but banks are people (at least in USA), with uber powers of jerking off the stupid politicians we the masses elect.
/sarcasm-but-true
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on October 02, 2019, 01:39:52 PM
You guys act like banks are bad. They actually provide a very good service at rock bottom rates. What's the spread between the borrowing rate and savings rate? If you do it right, it's less than 1%. Where else in life is the house profit less than 1%? Plus they give you a bank manager who will respond to all of your requests and which obviates the need to queue up, etc.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wolfpack Mustachian on October 02, 2019, 05:46:40 PM
You guys act like banks are bad. They actually provide a very good service at rock bottom rates. What's the spread between the borrowing rate and savings rate? If you do it right, it's less than 1%. Where else in life is the house profit less than 1%? Plus they give you a bank manager who will respond to all of your requests and which obviates the need to queue up, etc.

Banks can provide useful services. What people staunchly on the side of the bank have failed to do is explain what makes the banks above reproach for their mistake and for the fact that they often screw customers over in ways specifically related to this instance (in addition to other things they have been caught doing). They're just not a white knight good guy that we owe defense to....
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on October 03, 2019, 09:56:12 AM
You guys act like banks are bad. They actually provide a very good service at rock bottom rates. What's the spread between the borrowing rate and savings rate? If you do it right, it's less than 1%. Where else in life is the house profit less than 1%? Plus they give you a bank manager who will respond to all of your requests and which obviates the need to queue up, etc.

Banks can provide useful services. What people staunchly on the side of the bank have failed to do is explain what makes the banks above reproach for their mistake and for the fact that they often screw customers over in ways specifically related to this instance (in addition to other things they have been caught doing). They're just not a white knight good guy that we owe defense to....

That's because nobody has stated that the banks are above reproach. But in this instance, the bank made an error that could have easily been fixed by the couple.

Take the example of somebody losing their wallet. If you find it on the ground, do you 1) spend the money, 2) keep a finder's fee to punish that person for making a mistake that nobody should make, or 3) call that person up and try to return the wallet in a way that is convenient for both of you? Keep in mind during your answer that that person has inconvenienced your day by placing a wallet in your line of sight that had money in it that could be used to purchase things you want.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GuitarStv on October 03, 2019, 10:26:25 AM
You guys act like banks are bad. They actually provide a very good service at rock bottom rates. What's the spread between the borrowing rate and savings rate? If you do it right, it's less than 1%. Where else in life is the house profit less than 1%? Plus they give you a bank manager who will respond to all of your requests and which obviates the need to queue up, etc.

Banks can provide useful services. What people staunchly on the side of the bank have failed to do is explain what makes the banks above reproach for their mistake and for the fact that they often screw customers over in ways specifically related to this instance (in addition to other things they have been caught doing). They're just not a white knight good guy that we owe defense to....

That's because nobody has stated that the banks are above reproach. But in this instance, the bank made an error that could have easily been fixed by the couple.

Take the example of somebody losing their wallet. If you find it on the ground, do you 1) spend the money, 2) keep a finder's fee to punish that person for making a mistake that nobody should make, or 3) call that person up and try to return the wallet in a way that is convenient for both of you? Keep in mind during your answer that that person has inconvenienced your day by placing a wallet in your line of sight that had money in it that could be used to purchase things you want.

Me personally, I'd return the wallet.  It seems like the right thing to do (I would have called the bank too).  But if someone chose to keep the money in the wallet I wouldn't expect them to go to jail . . . because the person who lost the money is ultimately personally responsible for the loss.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on October 03, 2019, 10:43:49 AM
You guys act like banks are bad. They actually provide a very good service at rock bottom rates. What's the spread between the borrowing rate and savings rate? If you do it right, it's less than 1%. Where else in life is the house profit less than 1%? Plus they give you a bank manager who will respond to all of your requests and which obviates the need to queue up, etc.

Banks can provide useful services. What people staunchly on the side of the bank have failed to do is explain what makes the banks above reproach for their mistake and for the fact that they often screw customers over in ways specifically related to this instance (in addition to other things they have been caught doing). They're just not a white knight good guy that we owe defense to....

That's because nobody has stated that the banks are above reproach. But in this instance, the bank made an error that could have easily been fixed by the couple.

Take the example of somebody losing their wallet. If you find it on the ground, do you 1) spend the money, 2) keep a finder's fee to punish that person for making a mistake that nobody should make, or 3) call that person up and try to return the wallet in a way that is convenient for both of you? Keep in mind during your answer that that person has inconvenienced your day by placing a wallet in your line of sight that had money in it that could be used to purchase things you want.

Me personally, I'd return the wallet.  It seems like the right thing to do (I would have called the bank too).  But if someone chose to keep the money in the wallet I wouldn't expect them to go to jail . . . because the person who lost the money is ultimately personally responsible for the loss.

But if someone chose to keep the money, would they be on the right side of the law? https://www.lawnow.org/all-is-not-lost-law-lost-and-found/ (https://www.lawnow.org/all-is-not-lost-law-lost-and-found/)
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: UpNAtom on October 03, 2019, 10:48:47 AM
I was just going to say something like the above.

At least here, you do not have the immediate right to open someone else's mail nor to keep possession of something that is clearly not yours.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GuitarStv on October 03, 2019, 12:03:14 PM
You guys act like banks are bad. They actually provide a very good service at rock bottom rates. What's the spread between the borrowing rate and savings rate? If you do it right, it's less than 1%. Where else in life is the house profit less than 1%? Plus they give you a bank manager who will respond to all of your requests and which obviates the need to queue up, etc.

Banks can provide useful services. What people staunchly on the side of the bank have failed to do is explain what makes the banks above reproach for their mistake and for the fact that they often screw customers over in ways specifically related to this instance (in addition to other things they have been caught doing). They're just not a white knight good guy that we owe defense to....

That's because nobody has stated that the banks are above reproach. But in this instance, the bank made an error that could have easily been fixed by the couple.

Take the example of somebody losing their wallet. If you find it on the ground, do you 1) spend the money, 2) keep a finder's fee to punish that person for making a mistake that nobody should make, or 3) call that person up and try to return the wallet in a way that is convenient for both of you? Keep in mind during your answer that that person has inconvenienced your day by placing a wallet in your line of sight that had money in it that could be used to purchase things you want.

Me personally, I'd return the wallet.  It seems like the right thing to do (I would have called the bank too).  But if someone chose to keep the money in the wallet I wouldn't expect them to go to jail . . . because the person who lost the money is ultimately personally responsible for the loss.

But if someone chose to keep the money, would they be on the right side of the law? https://www.lawnow.org/all-is-not-lost-law-lost-and-found/ (https://www.lawnow.org/all-is-not-lost-law-lost-and-found/)


If you aren't, then I feel that there is a fundamental problem with the law.  The duty of responsibility for an object should always ultimately rely on the owner of said object.  There are some weird problems that happen when you shift that responsibility to others.

- I could write my name on a twenty dollar bill, break into your home and place the bill in your wallet, and then demand that you be imprisoned later when you spend the money.

- I could write my name on a stack of twenty dollar bills, drive around the city throwing them out my window, and then demand that anyone who tries to deposit one of these bills at the bank be arrested.

- I am unable to throw away unaddressed junk mail . . . because the unaddressed junk mail could be meant for someone else.  I should instead contact the sender of each piece in order to determine if it was truly intended for me.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: PoutineLover on October 03, 2019, 12:44:48 PM
You might think that returning a found wallet is the right thing to do, but I've seen that backfire as well. While traveling, a relative of mine found a wallet with no money in it at a bar with slot machines. He turned it in to the bartender in case the owner came back to find it. Unfortunately, it belonged to an aggressive young man who claimed it, and then tried to accuse my relative of stealing a couple hundred from him. The cops ended up being called and both parties told their sides of the story, the security tapes were reviewed and eventually it was decided to just let the whole thing go since there was no evidence either way. I think the guy either lost the money at the slots or never had it to begin with, or someone else stole the money and left the wallet, but we'll never know. Such a stupid, stressful ordeal over what should have been a kind gesture. Having experienced that, I'm not so sure that I would turn in a found wallet again, especially if I found it while traveling in a foreign country.
Finders keepers, losers weepers right?
In reality, I have made efforts to return found items, and people have returned my lost items to me, so I do have some faith in society. But I would never expect a lost item to be returned, it would just be a pleasant surprise if it was.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wrenchturner on October 03, 2019, 12:56:48 PM
Not sure that someone can steal something that was lost.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on October 03, 2019, 02:03:54 PM
You might think that returning a found wallet is the right thing to do, but I've seen that backfire as well. While traveling, a relative of mine found a wallet with no money in it at a bar with slot machines. He turned it in to the bartender in case the owner came back to find it. Unfortunately, it belonged to an aggressive young man who claimed it, and then tried to accuse my relative of stealing a couple hundred from him. The cops ended up being called and both parties told their sides of the story, the security tapes were reviewed and eventually it was decided to just let the whole thing go since there was no evidence either way. I think the guy either lost the money at the slots or never had it to begin with, or someone else stole the money and left the wallet, but we'll never know. Such a stupid, stressful ordeal over what should have been a kind gesture. Having experienced that, I'm not so sure that I would turn in a found wallet again, especially if I found it while traveling in a foreign country.
Finders keepers, losers weepers right?
In reality, I have made efforts to return found items, and people have returned my lost items to me, so I do have some faith in society. But I would never expect a lost item to be returned, it would just be a pleasant surprise if it was.

Years ago, I found a wallet in a restroom on the New York Thruway. The wallet was sitting somewhere it could easily have been left by someone using the facilities. I did not look into the wallet, but immediately turned it in to the security guard. As I was doing this, a woman came charging up saying her wallet was lost. Her picture matched the ID in it, and the ID and cards hadn't been taken, but she then announced that two hundred dollars in cash had been taken out of it, and accused me of having stolen it. She demanded that the officer search me for the money, and find out whether I had cash on me that could have been hers. I did happen to be carrying some cash in my own wallet, but I had an ATM receipt for it and it wasn't the same amount as what the woman had lost. That's probably the only thing that saved me. Because nothing else from her wallet had been taken-- not the change, or the ID, or any of the cards or the small bills-- I personally didn't think she'd lost anything at all and that she put the wallet there as a con game of some kind.

Because of this experience, and because the cop I returned the wallet to believed her and not me, I will never, ever again attempt to return a found wallet.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: DadJokes on October 03, 2019, 02:27:04 PM
You might think that returning a found wallet is the right thing to do, but I've seen that backfire as well. While traveling, a relative of mine found a wallet with no money in it at a bar with slot machines. He turned it in to the bartender in case the owner came back to find it. Unfortunately, it belonged to an aggressive young man who claimed it, and then tried to accuse my relative of stealing a couple hundred from him. The cops ended up being called and both parties told their sides of the story, the security tapes were reviewed and eventually it was decided to just let the whole thing go since there was no evidence either way. I think the guy either lost the money at the slots or never had it to begin with, or someone else stole the money and left the wallet, but we'll never know. Such a stupid, stressful ordeal over what should have been a kind gesture. Having experienced that, I'm not so sure that I would turn in a found wallet again, especially if I found it while traveling in a foreign country.
Finders keepers, losers weepers right?
In reality, I have made efforts to return found items, and people have returned my lost items to me, so I do have some faith in society. But I would never expect a lost item to be returned, it would just be a pleasant surprise if it was.

Years ago, I found a wallet in a restroom on the New York Thruway. The wallet was sitting somewhere it could easily have been left by someone using the facilities. I did not look into the wallet, but immediately turned it in to the security guard. As I was doing this, a woman came charging up saying her wallet was lost. Her picture matched the ID in it, and the ID and cards hadn't been taken, but she then announced that two hundred dollars in cash had been taken out of it, and accused me of having stolen it. She demanded that the officer search me for the money, and find out whether I had cash on me that could have been hers. I did happen to be carrying some cash in my own wallet, but I had an ATM receipt for it and it wasn't the same amount as what the woman had lost. That's probably the only thing that saved me. Because nothing else from her wallet had been taken-- not the change, or the ID, or any of the cards or the small bills-- I personally didn't think she'd lost anything at all and that she put the wallet there as a con game of some kind.

Because of this experience, and because the cop I returned the wallet to believed her and not me, I will never, ever again attempt to return a found wallet.

Wow. To both stories. I would bet that they were both cons, especially yours TGS.

I worked in a convenience store for a couple years during and after high school. Dozens of IDs were left behind, as well as a handful of wallets. If the person didn't return during my shift, I would take the ID/wallet to the address on the ID. They were always within a mile or two of the store. Everyone was grateful, and I never was accused of anything.

In hindsight, it was probably a bad idea. Besides the fact that a stranger is showing up at your door (creepy), people move and don't update the address on their ID all the time.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Samuel on October 03, 2019, 02:36:17 PM
You guys act like banks are bad. They actually provide a very good service at rock bottom rates. What's the spread between the borrowing rate and savings rate? If you do it right, it's less than 1%. Where else in life is the house profit less than 1%? Plus they give you a bank manager who will respond to all of your requests and which obviates the need to queue up, etc.

Banks can provide useful services. What people staunchly on the side of the bank have failed to do is explain what makes the banks above reproach for their mistake and for the fact that they often screw customers over in ways specifically related to this instance (in addition to other things they have been caught doing). They're just not a white knight good guy that we owe defense to....

I'm defending this specific bank in this specific situation. I don't get why you insist that the bad behavior of their industry is relevant at all to this specific situation, where the demonstrated bad faith is all on the couple's side.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on October 03, 2019, 03:12:17 PM
If you aren't, then I feel that there is a fundamental problem with the law.  The duty of responsibility for an object should always ultimately rely on the owner of said object.  There are some weird problems that happen when you shift that responsibility to others.

- I could write my name on a twenty dollar bill, break into your home and place the bill in your wallet, and then demand that you be imprisoned later when you spend the money.

- I could write my name on a stack of twenty dollar bills, drive around the city throwing them out my window, and then demand that anyone who tries to deposit one of these bills at the bank be arrested.

- I am unable to throw away unaddressed junk mail . . . because the unaddressed junk mail could be meant for someone else.  I should instead contact the sender of each piece in order to determine if it was truly intended for me.

Can you come up with some better examples? As far as I know, it is illegal to deface currency, it is illegal to break into somebody's home, it is illegal to litter, and I'm quite certain that everyone will agree that junk mail has essentially zero value.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wolfpack Mustachian on October 04, 2019, 04:19:18 AM
You guys act like banks are bad. They actually provide a very good service at rock bottom rates. What's the spread between the borrowing rate and savings rate? If you do it right, it's less than 1%. Where else in life is the house profit less than 1%? Plus they give you a bank manager who will respond to all of your requests and which obviates the need to queue up, etc.

Banks can provide useful services. What people staunchly on the side of the bank have failed to do is explain what makes the banks above reproach for their mistake and for the fact that they often screw customers over in ways specifically related to this instance (in addition to other things they have been caught doing). They're just not a white knight good guy that we owe defense to....

That's because nobody has stated that the banks are above reproach. But in this instance, the bank made an error that could have easily been fixed by the couple.

Take the example of somebody losing their wallet. If you find it on the ground, do you 1) spend the money, 2) keep a finder's fee to punish that person for making a mistake that nobody should make, or 3) call that person up and try to return the wallet in a way that is convenient for both of you? Keep in mind during your answer that that person has inconvenienced your day by placing a wallet in your line of sight that had money in it that could be used to purchase things you want.

I'm defending this specific bank in this specific situation. I don't get why you insist that the bad behavior of their industry is relevant at all to this specific situation, where the demonstrated bad faith is all on the couple's side.

With this comment, I think I'm going to bow out of the conversation, because it's apparent that the pro-bank perspective will never see the other side. I will end with this:

To your question about a wallet, I don't know what I would do about a wallet. I would probably call them up if it was in a random park or give it to an authority if it were in an establishment with one. With the stories that have come up, though, I might not now....but that's a different story :).

"That's because nobody has stated that the banks are above reproach." This quote is probably why I'm going to bow out, no offense. The thing is, it has been implicitly stated that the banks are above reproach. For Pete's sake, people taking my viewpoint have basically been accused of victim blaming for trying to say the banks have responsibility in it and that that they caused the situation - a ridiculous and extreme point. In addition, your example of giving back a wallet or not and really all of the analogies used along that line are missing a key point that people keep trying to avoid that I have stated in most of my last messages. When I lose a wallet, I, average Joe citizen, made a mistake in one of my 18,000 daily things I did. When banks take money out of one account and move it to another incorrectly, they are making a mistake at their job. Thankfully in their job, the significant risks are smaller than in other professions, but they're screwing up at their job. That's the difference between the wallet perspective. Also, your comment on would I try to get them to pay a finders fee is silly - no, of course I wouldn't. They made a mistake in one of their, again, 18,000 daily things they did. Fortunately that's not only not what happened, but it happened in reverse which I'll get to in a bit. When a corporation makes a mistake at their job, it's a little more serious. I don't think the couple should have tried to pay them back 118k and pocket 2k for the inconvenience. I do, however, think regulations should evaluate this in terms of how often it happens and what the banks do when it happens - it = their mistake.

Moving on from this to your point and Samuel's point about this particular bank in this particular situation, for one, it can't be divorced from the overall ways in which banks act. That is to charge fees whenever they absolutely can. Overall actions of corporations are what drive regulation, so to try to look at this in isolation is flawed. But let's do that, because we don't even have to look at it overall to see the same problem I keep talking about. The bank charged the couple fees on top of the money they incorrectly transferred in this situation. They've literally made the case themselves. Let's go back to the wallet analogy (even though I've showed why it's flawed) just to argue the point. I'd be happy to have my money back if I lost my wallet because I had made the mistake. I wouldn't be thinking about trying to charge the means through which it got back to me in any way a fee for failing to get it back to me in time or whatever. In this very situation, the bank showed that they are incompetent and jerks, proving why they should take some responsibility in this situation - whether to improve their methods so this couldn't happen again or whatnot. Instead, they doubled down and tried to charge fees for their mistake.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on October 04, 2019, 05:48:22 AM
The reason you are bowing out of the conversation is because you cannot accept that a corporation can be shady in some dealings, proper in other dealings, and have those dealings separately evaluated. For example, for all I know Walmart might treat its employees like shit (I don't know, maybe it does or doesn't), but this doesn't excuse me from trying to shoplift from them or abuse their returns policy.

In simpler terms, two wrongs don't make a right.

Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Kyle Schuant on October 04, 2019, 06:36:45 AM
The reason you are bowing out of the conversation is because you cannot accept that a corporation can be shady in some dealings, proper in other dealings, and have those dealings separately evaluated.
Though corporations are treated as legal persons, they are different from real persons in this regard.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: jinga nation on October 04, 2019, 08:07:54 AM
You might think that returning a found wallet is the right thing to do, but I've seen that backfire as well. While traveling, a relative of mine found a wallet with no money in it at a bar with slot machines. He turned it in to the bartender in case the owner came back to find it. Unfortunately, it belonged to an aggressive young man who claimed it, and then tried to accuse my relative of stealing a couple hundred from him. The cops ended up being called and both parties told their sides of the story, the security tapes were reviewed and eventually it was decided to just let the whole thing go since there was no evidence either way. I think the guy either lost the money at the slots or never had it to begin with, or someone else stole the money and left the wallet, but we'll never know. Such a stupid, stressful ordeal over what should have been a kind gesture. Having experienced that, I'm not so sure that I would turn in a found wallet again, especially if I found it while traveling in a foreign country.
Finders keepers, losers weepers right?
In reality, I have made efforts to return found items, and people have returned my lost items to me, so I do have some faith in society. But I would never expect a lost item to be returned, it would just be a pleasant surprise if it was.

Years ago, I found a wallet in a restroom on the New York Thruway. The wallet was sitting somewhere it could easily have been left by someone using the facilities. I did not look into the wallet, but immediately turned it in to the security guard. As I was doing this, a woman came charging up saying her wallet was lost. Her picture matched the ID in it, and the ID and cards hadn't been taken, but she then announced that two hundred dollars in cash had been taken out of it, and accused me of having stolen it. She demanded that the officer search me for the money, and find out whether I had cash on me that could have been hers. I did happen to be carrying some cash in my own wallet, but I had an ATM receipt for it and it wasn't the same amount as what the woman had lost. That's probably the only thing that saved me. Because nothing else from her wallet had been taken-- not the change, or the ID, or any of the cards or the small bills-- I personally didn't think she'd lost anything at all and that she put the wallet there as a con game of some kind.

Because of this experience, and because the cop I returned the wallet to believed her and not me, I will never, ever again attempt to return a found wallet.
A good deed seldom goes unpunished.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on October 04, 2019, 08:22:44 AM
I do, however, think regulations should evaluate this in terms of how often it happens and what the banks do when it happens - it = their mistake.

I would agree, if the bank's mistake had done any material harm to the couple. For example, if the couple had $12k in their bank account and the bank mistakenly removed $10k, the bank should make the couple right for all overcharges, interest, and an additional penalty for the trouble the couple had to go through and the possible hit to their credit score. Regulations are in place to this effect.

Quote
When banks take money out of one account and move it to another incorrectly, they are making a mistake at their job.

You are saying this like somebody making a mistake at their job should be punished with a day at the stockade. I'm not sure if you're aware, but everyone who has ever worked has made a mistake at their job. Some mistakes are consequential, some less so; this one should have fallen in the latter category, if it weren't for the couple's greed.

Quote
Moving on from this to your point and Samuel's point about this particular bank in this particular situation, for one, it can't be divorced from the overall ways in which banks act.

This is both faulty logic and based off a faulty premise. Starting with the logic, any mistake someone makes should generally be judged based off the severity of that mistake. So yes, a bank should be punished heavily when it seriously fucks up, but in this case it was a very minor fuck up that could have easily been rectified (until the couple majorly fucked it up).

The faulty premise is that all banks act in some shady way. This is not my experience. Some banks act pretty shady, and you know what? I avoid doing business with those banks. Other banks I've had nothing but pleasant experiences with. Additionally, if you think the banking industry as a whole is rotten, you could even live your life without ever using the services of a bank (well, sort of; you would still need to carry around Federal Reserve Notes in order to make transactions).

Quote
Overall actions of corporations are what drive regulation, so to try to look at this in isolation is flawed. But let's do that, because we don't even have to look at it overall to see the same problem I keep talking about. The bank charged the couple fees on top of the money they incorrectly transferred in this situation. They've literally made the case themselves. Let's go back to the wallet analogy (even though I've showed why it's flawed) just to argue the point. I'd be happy to have my money back if I lost my wallet because I had made the mistake. I wouldn't be thinking about trying to charge the means through which it got back to me in any way a fee for failing to get it back to me in time or whatever. In this very situation, the bank showed that they are incompetent and jerks, proving why they should take some responsibility in this situation - whether to improve their methods so this couldn't happen again or whatnot. Instead, they doubled down and tried to charge fees for their mistake.

First, your analogy with the wallet is deeply flawed. The couple did not give back the wallet. Rather, they spent the money as quickly as they could on a bunch of bullshit in hopes that they would never have to pay back the money. A better analogy would be that this couple maxed out your credit cards after finding your wallet, then after you trace back the purchases to their house, they tell you "Sorry, I thought that money was mine since I found it. I guess you can have the RV and Camaro that I bought with it, but please don't get angry at me, I didn't know any better."

Second, whether the bank should have charged late fees is debatable. I think the tactic is a form of playing hardball in order to try to recover as much of that money as they can. This tactic may backfire in the form of public opinion, though in my opinion they are doing nothing wrong except playing by the rules that were generated by law and the terms of contract that the couple signed when joining the bank.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on October 04, 2019, 08:23:25 AM
You might think that returning a found wallet is the right thing to do, but I've seen that backfire as well. While traveling, a relative of mine found a wallet with no money in it at a bar with slot machines. He turned it in to the bartender in case the owner came back to find it. Unfortunately, it belonged to an aggressive young man who claimed it, and then tried to accuse my relative of stealing a couple hundred from him. The cops ended up being called and both parties told their sides of the story, the security tapes were reviewed and eventually it was decided to just let the whole thing go since there was no evidence either way. I think the guy either lost the money at the slots or never had it to begin with, or someone else stole the money and left the wallet, but we'll never know. Such a stupid, stressful ordeal over what should have been a kind gesture. Having experienced that, I'm not so sure that I would turn in a found wallet again, especially if I found it while traveling in a foreign country.
Finders keepers, losers weepers right?
In reality, I have made efforts to return found items, and people have returned my lost items to me, so I do have some faith in society. But I would never expect a lost item to be returned, it would just be a pleasant surprise if it was.

Years ago, I found a wallet in a restroom on the New York Thruway. The wallet was sitting somewhere it could easily have been left by someone using the facilities. I did not look into the wallet, but immediately turned it in to the security guard. As I was doing this, a woman came charging up saying her wallet was lost. Her picture matched the ID in it, and the ID and cards hadn't been taken, but she then announced that two hundred dollars in cash had been taken out of it, and accused me of having stolen it. She demanded that the officer search me for the money, and find out whether I had cash on me that could have been hers. I did happen to be carrying some cash in my own wallet, but I had an ATM receipt for it and it wasn't the same amount as what the woman had lost. That's probably the only thing that saved me. Because nothing else from her wallet had been taken-- not the change, or the ID, or any of the cards or the small bills-- I personally didn't think she'd lost anything at all and that she put the wallet there as a con game of some kind.

Because of this experience, and because the cop I returned the wallet to believed her and not me, I will never, ever again attempt to return a found wallet.
A good deed seldom goes unpunished.

I have to say, that's some crazy scammy shit.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wolfpack Mustachian on October 04, 2019, 10:35:31 AM
The reason you are bowing out of the conversation is because you cannot accept that a corporation can be shady in some dealings, proper in other dealings, and have those dealings separately evaluated. For example, for all I know Walmart might treat its employees like shit (I don't know, maybe it does or doesn't), but this doesn't excuse me from trying to shoplift from them or abuse their returns policy.

In simpler terms, two wrongs don't make a right.

Lol, the reason I'm bowing out of this conversation is my questions continually aren't answered and you're ignoring my answers to your question. In no way have I once excused the couple for stealing or said that criminal charges shouldn't be levied against them. Please, that straw man is out of straw, stop hitting him :).

For my questions, no one addresses the fact that the bank charged fees for their mistakes. No one addresses the fact that charging fees is part of a bigger picture issue that shows the banks have leverage that means that it might be worth addressing their responsibility in the issue of making a mistake beyond just verbal acknowledgement that they did. This can be done in conjunction with criminal charges for the couple. I can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time :).
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wolfpack Mustachian on October 04, 2019, 10:44:29 AM
I do, however, think regulations should evaluate this in terms of how often it happens and what the banks do when it happens - it = their mistake.

I would agree, if the bank's mistake had done any material harm to the couple. For example, if the couple had $12k in their bank account and the bank mistakenly removed $10k, the bank should make the couple right for all overcharges, interest, and an additional penalty for the trouble the couple had to go through and the possible hit to their credit score. Regulations are in place to this effect.


The bank charged them a fee for their mistake beyond repayment of the money. No one has answered this. Feel free to do so.

Quote
When banks take money out of one account and move it to another incorrectly, they are making a mistake at their job.

You are saying this like somebody making a mistake at their job should be punished with a day at the stockade. I'm not sure if you're aware, but everyone who has ever worked has made a mistake at their job. Some mistakes are consequential, some less so; this one should have fallen in the latter category, if it weren't for the couple's greed.


The couple will be punished for their mistake. The bank will not be punished for their mistake (albeit one with less malice) and will in fact try to punish further because of their mistake.

Quote
Moving on from this to your point and Samuel's point about this particular bank in this particular situation, for one, it can't be divorced from the overall ways in which banks act.

This is both faulty logic and based off a faulty premise. Starting with the logic, any mistake someone makes should generally be judged based off the severity of that mistake. So yes, a bank should be punished heavily when it seriously fucks up, but in this case it was a very minor fuck up that could have easily been rectified (until the couple majorly fucked it up).



The extent of the mistake along with statistics on how often it happens should certainly play into how it is handled. You claim I have faulty logic in looking at the bigger picture and then argue against something completely different than me looking at the bigger picture.......Can you be coherent on that point?


Quote
The faulty premise is that all banks act in some shady way. This is not my experience. Some banks act pretty shady, and you know what? I avoid doing business with those banks. Other banks I've had nothing but pleasant experiences with. Additionally, if you think the banking industry as a whole is rotten, you could even live your life without ever using the services of a bank (well, sort of; you would still need to carry around Federal Reserve Notes in order to make transactions).

I'm glad you've had good experiences with banks....

Quote
Overall actions of corporations are what drive regulation, so to try to look at this in isolation is flawed. But let's do that, because we don't even have to look at it overall to see the same problem I keep talking about. The bank charged the couple fees on top of the money they incorrectly transferred in this situation. They've literally made the case themselves. Let's go back to the wallet analogy (even though I've showed why it's flawed) just to argue the point. I'd be happy to have my money back if I lost my wallet because I had made the mistake. I wouldn't be thinking about trying to charge the means through which it got back to me in any way a fee for failing to get it back to me in time or whatever. In this very situation, the bank showed that they are incompetent and jerks, proving why they should take some responsibility in this situation - whether to improve their methods so this couldn't happen again or whatnot. Instead, they doubled down and tried to charge fees for their mistake.

First, your analogy with the wallet is deeply flawed. The couple did not give back the wallet. Rather, they spent the money as quickly as they could on a bunch of bullshit in hopes that they would never have to pay back the money. A better analogy would be that this couple maxed out your credit cards after finding your wallet, then after you trace back the purchases to their house, they tell you "Sorry, I thought that money was mine since I found it. I guess you can have the RV and Camaro that I bought with it, but please don't get angry at me, I didn't know any better."

Second, whether the bank should have charged late fees is debatable. I think the tactic is a form of playing hardball in order to try to recover as much of that money as they can. This tactic may backfire in the form of public opinion, though in my opinion they are doing nothing wrong except playing by the rules that were generated by law and the terms of contract that the couple signed when joining the bank.

It was your analogy of a wallet to begin with....I agree it was flawed :). The couple didn't give it back, but my point is the bank charge fees beyond giving it back. Could someone please for the love of Pete answer that point :)?

And no, saying it's "debatable" to play hard ball is not answering for why the bank should ethically charge money for their mistake.

So yes, someone please explain the ethical reasons for charging fees for your mistake and why we shouldn't look at the overall picture of banks having more leverage to actually do the charging of fees even when they have made the mistake, and then the conversation might be worthy of continuing imo...

Dang, bowing out is really hard, lol.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on October 04, 2019, 12:20:54 PM
So yes, someone please explain the ethical reasons for charging fees for your mistake and why we shouldn't look at the overall picture of banks having more leverage to actually do the charging of fees even when they have made the mistake, and then the conversation might be worthy of continuing imo...

The bank should ethically charge fees because the couple illegally spent the bank's money, and it is now requiring the bank to expend a lot of effort to get that money back. They should charge these fees in a method that complies with the law and the contract between the bank and couple. I said that in this case it was more a form of hardball because that couple is unlikely to ever pay back the full amount, let alone late fees.

If someone found my wallet and maxed my credit cards, and if I was able to determine their identity, and if they had any money to their name, I'd sue their ass off for that money, lawyer's fees, and the cost for my time used to get that money back.

The minor mistake of the bank is irrelevant toward whether or not the couple owes the money back to the bank. Its only relevancy is in the level of punishment the couple should receive for spending it (which, in my opinion, they should not receive jail time for this action, as they have professed that they did not intend to defraud the bank).
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GuitarStv on October 04, 2019, 12:29:21 PM
The couple didn't max out credit cards.  They spent the money they found in the 'wallet'.


Why is handing someone 120,000$ (and letting them withdraw it over an extended period of time) a minor mistake . . . but spending 120,000$ that an idiot gives you a crime?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on October 04, 2019, 01:40:17 PM
The couple didn't max out credit cards.  They spent the money they found in the 'wallet'.


Why is handing someone 120,000$ (and letting them withdraw it over an extended period of time) a minor mistake . . . but spending 120,000$ that an idiot gives you a crime?

There are numerous examples of what I consider to be minor mistakes which could result in major consequences. For example, I've made minor mistakes when driving or riding my bike that, under different circumstances, could have had dire consequences. Let's say I'm riding my bike and accidentally drift out of the bike lane into a lane of traffic right in front of a car. The car in that lane could respond by (1) asserting what he believes to be his right to that lane and running me over or (2) realizing I made a mistake, move over or brake as necessary, and totally avoid the mess. Let's say he chooses (1) and proceeds to squash me. He then drives off, because he feels he's done nothing wrong, because I was the one who made the mistake. Video evidence is found, and the police try to track down the perp, who avoids the police because of course he's done nothing wrong. When finally apprehended, he points out I was the one who made the mistake, so I got what was coming for me. And he wouldn't be totally wrong, except that the punishment was (a) illegal and (b) incommensurate with the mistake. The proper punishment would be for police to pull over people who cut off other people.

To relate this back to the bank's case: there are several on here that insist the bank should be punished when it makes a transactional mistake, but it already is punished. Just like the bike rider who makes a mistake and was run over by a douche, banks can find that their often minor transactional mistakes can have huge consequences if they happen to involve unscrupulous individuals (or couples); also, if they accidentally drain somebody's account, they will have to cover fees and interest and any lawyer's fees, if applicable. So the banks clearly have incentives not to make these kinds of mistakes.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Samuel on October 04, 2019, 02:27:22 PM
The reason you are bowing out of the conversation is because you cannot accept that a corporation can be shady in some dealings, proper in other dealings, and have those dealings separately evaluated. For example, for all I know Walmart might treat its employees like shit (I don't know, maybe it does or doesn't), but this doesn't excuse me from trying to shoplift from them or abuse their returns policy.

In simpler terms, two wrongs don't make a right.

Lol, the reason I'm bowing out of this conversation is my questions continually aren't answered and you're ignoring my answers to your question. In no way have I once excused the couple for stealing or said that criminal charges shouldn't be levied against them. Please, that straw man is out of straw, stop hitting him :).

For my questions, no one addresses the fact that the bank charged fees for their mistakes. No one addresses the fact that charging fees is part of a bigger picture issue that shows the banks have leverage that means that it might be worth addressing their responsibility in the issue of making a mistake beyond just verbal acknowledgement that they did. This can be done in conjunction with criminal charges for the couple. I can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time :).

The only fees I saw referenced were overdraft fees. When the bank reversed the mistaken deposit the account was $107,000 in overdraft due to the intentional (and we all agree, criminal) spending. Combined with the attempted ghosting an overdraft fee seems appropriate to me.

Our actual disagreement seems to be in our assumptions of how the bank would handle a much smaller error, where the extra money could have been overlooked and the overdraft be unintentional. If it was $100, and the couple were cooperative and worked with the bank to recoup the money I expect the bank would not charge an overdraft fee, or waive any that were applied automatically. My banks have usually been reasonable (or at least wary of public outrage). I'm guessing you assume the bank would hammer them with any fee they think applies and not budge, regardless of their responsibility or the good faith exhibited by the customer.

I see the other side, I just don't share the assumptions.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on October 04, 2019, 02:27:49 PM
The couple didn't max out credit cards.  They spent the money they found in the 'wallet'.


Why is handing someone 120,000$ (and letting them withdraw it over an extended period of time) a minor mistake . . . but spending 120,000$ that an idiot gives you a crime?

Intention.

Are we really having this conversation? Christ almighty.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GuitarStv on October 04, 2019, 02:35:18 PM
You're equating driving a vehicle into someone with cycling out of a lane.  These are very different actions.

I was equating a bank putting 120,000$ into someone's account with a couple taking 120,000$ out of their own account.  These are the same actions - transfer of the same amount of money.  If the one is a minor mistake (as you said), surely the other is as well.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on October 04, 2019, 02:57:21 PM
If the couple genuinely believed the $120,000 was their own money, e.g. they had regular 6 figure transactions all the time, or if they intended to not dissipate it but accidentally (somehow) withdrew it by mistake, then it would be equivalent.

If the couple knew the $120,000 was not their own money, but dissipated it anyway (like these felons did), then they intended to deprive the rightful owner of it and it is stealing.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on October 04, 2019, 03:07:35 PM
You're equating driving a vehicle into someone with cycling out of a lane.  These are very different actions.

I was equating a bank putting 120,000$ into someone's account with a couple taking 120,000$ out of their own account.  These are the same actions - transfer of the same amount of money.  If the one is a minor mistake (as you said), surely the other is as well.

You state they are different actions, but they seem similar enough to me. The motor vehicle driver and the cyclist are both simply using the road for transportation. The cyclist made the mistake of cutting into the car's lane, and the car simply just kept driving in its lane. If the one is a minor mistake, surely the other is as well.

And what Bloop Bloop said.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Davnasty on October 07, 2019, 08:17:09 AM
If the couple genuinely believed the $120,000 was their own money, e.g. they had regular 6 figure transactions all the time, or if they intended to not dissipate it but accidentally (somehow) withdrew it by mistake, then it would be equivalent.

If the couple knew the $120,000 was not their own money, but dissipated it anyway (like these felons did), then they intended to deprive the rightful owner of it and it is stealing.

You've taken a pretty hard line on the assumption that these people knew what they were doing... I'm less certain. Considering the level of ignorance some people have with regards to money, I think it's plausible that they thought the money just "appeared" and didn't belong to anyone. Viewing money as having magical properties is actually quite common*. Or perhaps they think banks print/create money; I've talked to adults who believed this. If they had thought it through to the extent that you are so certain they did, they should have also known they'd be caught but that doesn't seem to be the case.

None of this changes the fact that they stole the money, but I think it's worth consideration. I suspect your abilities for cognitive reasoning are above average but given this conversation and others on this forum I'm not sure you fully acknowledge that. Not everyone is working with the same set of tools. And again, I'm not suggesting that this means they should get a pass, just that it's worth consideration. When I keep an open mind and try to see different perspectives I get a lot more out of these conversations than just trying to beat my point of view into someone else.

*One of my favorite lines from a coworker was, "Before you have kids you better take some vacations and spend some money while you still have it". This, from an otherwise intelligent person, leads me to the conclusion that dollar signs cause a short circuit in some people's brains.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Lichen on October 07, 2019, 08:32:06 AM


You've taken a pretty hard line on the assumption that these people knew what they were doing... I'm less certain. Considering the level of ignorance some people have with regards to money, I think it's plausible that they thought the money just "appeared" and didn't belong to anyone. Viewing money as having magical properties is actually quite common*.

Add to this the urban legends surrounding bank errors and the mentality that the customer is always right, and these people may have actually thought they were in the right. I've met a lot of people that think that bank errors (or payroll errors, any financial error) in their favor are theirs to keep, just like they were in the game of Monopoly. True, they should have actually researched to see if this was fact, but many people don't seem to have the cognitive reasoning skills or common sense to think that far ahead.

Plus, U.S. banks ARE the enemy in many cases, especially for lower income people. I can't speak to banking in other countries, of course. I don't expect pity for low income people from certain posters considering their history on such topics, but it's true. Ridiculous and complicated fees, bank errors in the bank's favor that are difficult to correct, holding deposits or withdrawals to pump up fees, and shady practices trying to push products are the norm. (I worked account services for a big bank that did not survive the great recession. I'm sure some things have changed, but man, there are a lot of bad consumer practices that banks still need to atone for. As for myself, I'll stick to smaller credit unions.)

Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on October 07, 2019, 08:45:12 AM
By the same token, if the bank hands money over to a client's account and then facilitates their removal of the money from the bank I don't think the bank should be considered blameless and should shoulder an amount of financial loss.  While not typical, this kind of 'leaving the virtual bank doors open' does happen surprisingly often.

Please tell us, how much of the loss should the bank shoulder? (Not de facto how much they will shoulder, but the law should state that if the bank places $x in someone's account by mistake, that person is entitled to y% and the bank to 1-y%. Call it a finder's fee.)

There's certainly a lot of room for discussion on this, but going with my gut I'd say that about 15% of total amount should be immediately non-recoverable, with the non-recoverable amount increasing by 2% per month after that.  That would both provide penalty for the error they committed initially, and incentive to quickly find their misplaced money . . . while not being unduly punitive.

Been meaning to respond to this one. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with government setting laws that penalizes errors made by a profession. However, I feel for this case a civil suit would be appropriate if there is any loss that is not compensated by the bank.

The main reason I'm against this kind of law: if one uses government laws to penalize banks for these types of mistakes, what other professions should be penalized by law for making mistakes? And if a party is harmed, what is wrong with using the currently available tort system to make the parties whole?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GuitarStv on October 07, 2019, 10:04:00 AM
I'd argue that the currently available legal system is heavily slanted to favor the party with the most money.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Boofinator on October 07, 2019, 12:25:17 PM
I'd argue that the currently available legal system is heavily slanted to favor the party with the most money.

Made a slight change to your statement. I doubt there has ever been a legal system that did not probabilistically favor the wealthy, for reasons both inherent (being able to afford better lawyers) and prejudicial (some equate wealth to honor or some other prestige).

That being said, it would be interesting to read a case study or two where a party was wronged by a bank, and the tort system or arbitration did not side with the wronged party. The case under discussion certainly does not fit the bill.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on October 07, 2019, 10:00:21 PM


You've taken a pretty hard line on the assumption that these people knew what they were doing... I'm less certain. Considering the level of ignorance some people have with regards to money, I think it's plausible that they thought the money just "appeared" and didn't belong to anyone. Viewing money as having magical properties is actually quite common*.

Add to this the urban legends surrounding bank errors and the mentality that the customer is always right, and these people may have actually thought they were in the right. I've met a lot of people that think that bank errors (or payroll errors, any financial error) in their favor are theirs to keep, just like they were in the game of Monopoly. True, they should have actually researched to see if this was fact, but many people don't seem to have the cognitive reasoning skills or common sense to think that far ahead.

Plus, U.S. banks ARE the enemy in many cases, especially for lower income people. I can't speak to banking in other countries, of course. I don't expect pity for low income people from certain posters considering their history on such topics, but it's true. Ridiculous and complicated fees, bank errors in the bank's favor that are difficult to correct, holding deposits or withdrawals to pump up fees, and shady practices trying to push products are the norm. (I worked account services for a big bank that did not survive the great recession. I'm sure some things have changed, but man, there are a lot of bad consumer practices that banks still need to atone for. As for myself, I'll stick to smaller credit unions.)

If the couple magically thought that the money was in fact theirs (despite never earning it), then they should not have evaded/resisted the bank's attempts to communicate with them afterwards. The fact that they did, bespeaks a consciousness of guilt.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wrenchturner on October 09, 2019, 11:11:35 AM
Part of the "magical" thinking here is the bank taking money back after it has been spent(overdraft). 

If money can magically disappear, why can't it magically appear?
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on October 09, 2019, 04:25:29 PM
You should have been the defence lawyer! Perhaps the couple would have got acquitted with your strategy.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wrenchturner on October 09, 2019, 06:31:01 PM
You should have been the defence lawyer! Perhaps the couple would have got acquitted with your strategy.
Maybe if the judge was Jay Powell.

But like I said earlier in the thread, there's an aspect of fungibility that makes this weird.  If I hand you $20, or $20 of merchandise, I can't un-hand it to you.  But banks can!
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GuitarStv on October 09, 2019, 08:22:45 PM
You should have been the defence lawyer! Perhaps the couple would have got acquitted with your strategy.
Maybe if the judge was Jay Powell.

But like I said earlier in the thread, there's an aspect of fungibility that makes this weird.  If I hand you $20, or $20 of merchandise, I can't un-hand it to you.  But banks can!

That's because you're held responsible for your actions (even if they're mistakes).  A bank is not held responsible for their actions.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Wrenchturner on October 09, 2019, 09:15:18 PM
You should have been the defence lawyer! Perhaps the couple would have got acquitted with your strategy.
Maybe if the judge was Jay Powell.

But like I said earlier in the thread, there's an aspect of fungibility that makes this weird.  If I hand you $20, or $20 of merchandise, I can't un-hand it to you.  But banks can!

That's because you're held responsible for your actions (even if they're mistakes).  A bank is not held responsible for their actions.

Schrodinger's money.  Macro rules for fiat banks don't scale down to simple one-on-one transactions very well.

(If banks get held responsible for their actions, we'll all be broke!)

Edit: another way to think of this is to play it out with--say--gold.  80oz of gold are mistakenly given to me, I then spend it all, then somehow 80oz of gold are conjured with magic, given back to the first party, and I now own -80oz of gold.  Not possible in this universe.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GuitarStv on October 10, 2019, 08:19:45 AM
You should have been the defence lawyer! Perhaps the couple would have got acquitted with your strategy.
Maybe if the judge was Jay Powell.

But like I said earlier in the thread, there's an aspect of fungibility that makes this weird.  If I hand you $20, or $20 of merchandise, I can't un-hand it to you.  But banks can!

That's because you're held responsible for your actions (even if they're mistakes).  A bank is not held responsible for their actions.

Schrodinger's money.  Macro rules for fiat banks don't scale down to simple one-on-one transactions very well.

(If banks get held responsible for their actions, we'll all be broke!)

Edit: another way to think of this is to play it out with--say--gold.  80oz of gold are mistakenly given to me, I then spend it all, then somehow 80oz of gold are conjured with magic, given back to the first party, and I now own -80oz of gold.  Not possible in this universe.

Totally possible.

-80oz of gold is worth two kneecaps and a broken nose.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Montecarlo on October 10, 2019, 11:39:08 AM
Lol you all crack me up.

Of course the bank has the responsibility to immediately credit the missing funds to the legitimate owners and pay damages, and the shareholders take the loss.

Of course stealing money is a crime.

Of course putting these criminals in jail would be a foolish use of taxpayer money.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: GuitarStv on October 10, 2019, 12:21:36 PM
Of course stealing money is a crime.

Stealing money is a crime.

If I pickpocket you, put 100$ in your wallet, and then put it back into your pocket and you spend the 100$ . . . is that really theft?  Even if you didn't remember putting the 100$ in your wallet to begin with?

That's where things get a little tricky on this one.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Davnasty on October 10, 2019, 12:32:36 PM
Of course stealing money is a crime.

Stealing money is a crime.

If I pickpocket you, put 100$ in your wallet, and then put it back into your pocket and you spend the 100$ . . . is that really theft?  Even if you didn't remember putting the 100$ in your wallet to begin with?

That's where things get a little tricky on this one.

Around and around we go :)

Two major differences between your scenario and the bank error. Intent -  If you placed $100 is their wallet, it was intentional, not an error. I could even argue that I was under the impression that you intended to surprise me with the money as a gift. I can't say for sure but I bet it would hold up in front of a reasonable judge, hiding money for other people to find is a thing people do. Plausible deniability -  $100 is not the same as $120k. I could plausibly argue that I didn't notice the extra $100. This couple could not make that argument due to the sum and the sudden and drastic change in their spending habits.

Courts are allowed to use basic human reasoning, they are not a computer program which take in data and spit out verdicts.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Montecarlo on October 10, 2019, 01:58:49 PM
I think the difference between money in the wallet scenario is that money is “abandoned”, not “lost”.  Generally speaking you aren’t allowed to claim lost property as your own, only abandoned.  It might have been legal for them to withdraw the money, give it to the police, and if the error wasn’t caught on a certain time period they could claim it.  Not sure about that.  Would be cheeky to try!
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Bloop Bloop on October 10, 2019, 04:24:06 PM
Wow, wow, wow.

All I can say is: thank god for the justice system.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Just Joe on October 11, 2019, 08:18:27 AM
Of course stealing money is a crime.

Stealing money is a crime.

If I pickpocket you, put 100$ in your wallet, and then put it back into your pocket and you spend the 100$ . . . is that really theft?  Even if you didn't remember putting the 100$ in your wallet to begin with?

That's where things get a little tricky on this one.

Around and around we go :)

Two major differences between your scenario and the bank error. Intent -  If you placed $100 is their wallet, it was intentional, not an error. I could even argue that I was under the impression that you intended to surprise me with the money as a gift. I can't say for sure but I bet it would hold up in front of a reasonable judge, hiding money for other people to find is a thing people do. Plausible deniability -  $100 is not the same as $120k. I could plausibly argue that I didn't notice the extra $100. This couple could not make that argument due to the sum and the sudden and drastic change in their spending habits.

Courts are allowed to use basic human reasoning, they are not a computer program which take in data and spit out verdicts.

Okay what if our dinner jackets were mixed up at the coat check in a nice restaurant and my jacket had $100 in the pocket....
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Davnasty on October 11, 2019, 09:03:45 AM
Of course stealing money is a crime.

Stealing money is a crime.

If I pickpocket you, put 100$ in your wallet, and then put it back into your pocket and you spend the 100$ . . . is that really theft?  Even if you didn't remember putting the 100$ in your wallet to begin with?

That's where things get a little tricky on this one.

Around and around we go :)

Two major differences between your scenario and the bank error. Intent -  If you placed $100 is their wallet, it was intentional, not an error. I could even argue that I was under the impression that you intended to surprise me with the money as a gift. I can't say for sure but I bet it would hold up in front of a reasonable judge, hiding money for other people to find is a thing people do. Plausible deniability -  $100 is not the same as $120k. I could plausibly argue that I didn't notice the extra $100. This couple could not make that argument due to the sum and the sudden and drastic change in their spending habits.

Courts are allowed to use basic human reasoning, they are not a computer program which take in data and spit out verdicts.

Okay what if our dinner jackets were mixed up at the coat check in a nice restaurant and my jacket had $100 in the pocket....

Then argument 1 no longer applies but argument 2 does. The money was not intentionally placed in their possession but the person who got your jacket could reasonably argue that they thought the money was theirs.

I think for these analogies to be useful, the funds must be transferred in error AND we need to use the same amount of money in each scenario. If you left $120,000 in your jacket and the restaurant gave it to another customer who then spent the money, the person who spent it is guilty of stealing the money. It is not plausible that they thought it was their jacket/money.

I'll add that spending the $100 is also stealing if the person who received it knew it wasn't theirs, but we can reasonably argue that they did not when the amount of money is small.
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Montecarlo on October 11, 2019, 09:31:55 AM
No it’s still stealing
Title: Re: Bank transfers $120k into couples bank account in error
Post by: Davnasty on October 11, 2019, 09:37:10 AM
No it’s still stealing

What is? Not sure who you're responding to.