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How a banking error could land you in legal trouble


Fans of the board game “Monopoly” are familiar with the card that says, “Banking error in your favor. Collect $200.” But what happens when a real-life banking error occurs can be the start of a nightmare that can result in criminal charges.

That is exactly what happened to one couple in another state when their bank made an error involving their bank account.

An expensive mistake

When a BB&T Bank teller improperly transcribed the account numbers for a customer depositing $120,000 at their local Georgia branch, the money inadvertently was transferred to a Pennsylvania couple’s bank account.

When they discovered the unexpected largesse, the couple went on a buying spree. In addition to paying off their bills, the couple bought a camper and car trailer, an SUV and a couple of four-wheelers. They also shared approximately $15,000 of the money with friends who were struggling financially.

Then the other shoe fell

Finally, the bank caught up to them. But by then, the couple had spent the funds. The bank debited their account for the missing funds. Criminal charges also ensued.

The customer who made the six-figure deposit had their account credited for that amount. As stated by the bank spokesperson, “While we can’t comment on the specifics of this issue due to client privacy practices, we always work as quickly as possible to address any issue that affects our clients.”

Succumbing to temptation can land you in jail

The bottom line? If money unexpectedly lands in your bank account, take the time to trace its origin with your bank to ensure that it is from a legitimate source before withdrawing, spending or transferring it. Otherwise, you could wind up behind bars on charges of bank fraud or other felonies.

Seeking the guidance of a criminal defense attorney should be a priority for anyone facing white collar crime charges.

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