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they should have left the country.

A Pennsylvania couple is behind bars after police say they failed to call the bank when a glitch put an extra $175,000 in their account. Authorities say 50-year-old Randy Pratt and 36-year-old Melissa Pratt instead withdrew the money, quit their jobs and moved to Florida.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mens_rea

Bob45 said: SS7Man said: ... I'm not sure if you take it and move it to a "Saving" account to "hold it" to make money on the interest would be considered a form of theft also. ...

Fairly sure if you can produce the bank's money for them they would not have any issue.

As long as you are holding the money and trying to return it, you should be fine.

This couple, however, is toast. Based on their actions so far, they are already on the hook for grand larceny. If they did manage to come up with enough to repay the bank, that would not change their clear intent to get away with the bank's money. Although they did not come into possession of the money through dishonest means, they will be held accountable under the continuing trespass doctrine.

lray said: What's "THE TAX" ?

Do you mean taxes on earned interest? If yes, that would be less than the interest earned.

If you mean tax on the principle, then no. You wouldn't be taxed on the principle because it was a bank mistake and you reported the real income.
"Errors in your favor" are taxable income.

webmerch11 said: Rule of thumb for taking money that is not yours:
Less than one billion - you go to jail
One biliion to less than half a Trillion - you go to a penthouse or resort (also known as "House arrest")
More than half a Trillion - good job and they reward you for what you have done.


Post of the year. I am bowing.

Quanah said: While it is obvious that it is the couple's greed that got them into this situation, the bank can not completely be without blame. I do not know what type of bank this is, but my credit union has weekly audits to catch mistakes such as this. The biggest question is who the hell handled the withdrawal? When I tried to close my old BB&T account (was another bank that was bought out, spiraled down into "fees" hell), the teller tried to talk me out of it, her supervisor tried to talk me out of it, they branch manager requested an exit interview. All that for less than $2,000. These people withdrew over $150,000, and apparently nobody thought to look at their account balance history? Nobody got the attention of a supervisor or someone higher up to validate the transaction? If I tried to withdraw $5,000 from my savings in my credit union, I could probably see the branch manager damn near killing herself to get to my teller to inquire as to why.I make plenty of withdrawals, large and small, from my bank accounts, yet cant remember the last time one was done in a branch.

As for the time frame, if we as customers of the financial institution only have 60 days, they should only have 60 days. They are a business, tough for them if they did not have enough on hand staff to catch such an "elephant in a bird cage" mistake. Hire more local/regional employees and stop out sourcing to other countries.So what happens when the person who was supposed to get that $175k takes the full 60 days to report the mistake to the bank?

And I'd assume that rather than ask for the money back, they'll just debit it from your account. If you've moved it to earn interest, you're now faced with overdrafts, bounce checks, rejected payments, etc. You'd have to proactively close your accounts at that bank, which makes your intentions pretty clear.

This is why I love fatwallet! If this article were on Cnn.com, the comments would be "idiots, they got caught" and "they should have given the money right back." On fatwallet, the comments are "how much interest income could I make" and "the obligation to call the bank to notify them of their error is zero, so again where to stash this cash for the highest income interest!"

Holy double standards, Batman!

If it's good enough for the Fed to invent money by extending their balance sheet mumbo-jumbo then it should be fine for anyone to add an extra zero to their balance sheet when 'needed'. Plus it's easier than just handing it out $600 at a time....

Wow, that's the town I grew up in, but his name is unfamiliar. Maybe he moved there from Florida? I'll have to ask about it when I go to visit. Last I heard, my family banks at a credit union, not that bank.

Retire with $175,000???? That's all you need????
Then I guess at least half the people here are ready to retire?

Oh crap... looks like I'm heading for some jail time also. I spent the $150 that Sears accidentally refunded me twice from a price mistake deal that was posted here.

God .. a mistake made by the bank and they will call the customers as thieves (what if the account was not closed? still?) Last year, Citi debited $220 while they were clearing $22 check of mine. I noticed this error and communicated but it still took 4 weeks to get my money back. There was not even a sorry from them

I once received two checks for a closed CD account of $5K, both have the full principal plus intrest, but different check numbers. I scratched one and deposited the other. After a couple of days, a lady from the bank (out of state) called me saying that was an error. I told her what I did. She simply said thanks and hang up. That made me think I should have done something.

timothy86 said: chimeer said: tazzy531 said: They really should change the Monopoly card "Bank Error; Earn $200". It's teaching our kids the wrong lesson.

There is a double standard here, if the bank accidentally withdraws extra money out of my account, legally I only get 60 days from the statement to contact them about the error, but if the bank makes an error that puts extra money into my account they have unlimited time to realize the error and attempt to recoup the money. Seems to be me that the law is more than a little bit lopsided in favor of the banks.

Not that I think people should take the money and running, just that the system isn't exactly fair.

So the card should probably read "Bank Error; Loose $200".


It really isn't that unfair. Unlike a bank, you only have your own personal finances to manage. If you don't look at any statements for 60 days, that isn't anyone's fault but your own. The bank on the other hand has 1000's of clients that they have to constantly monitor and therefore sometimes they may need more time.


There is a basic standard of competence to which everybody (including corporations) should be held accountable to. If you can't manage your affairs in a timely manner, you have probably taken on more business than you should have. To say that banks should be able to defer the responsibility to keep track of their numbers is positively bizarre. And then you make the claim that people who aren't financial professionals should be held to a higher standard of record keeping? What color is the sky outside your window?

ColbyS said: webmerch11 said: Rule of thumb for taking money that is not yours:
Less than one billion - you go to jail
One biliion to less than half a Trillion - you go to a penthouse or resort (also known as "House arrest")
More than half a Trillion - good job and they reward you for what you have done.


Post of the year. I am bowing.


What is the saying...

If you owe the bank 100 thousand dollars and can't pay, you have a problem.

If you owe the bank 100 million dollars and can't pay, the bank has a problem.

Bob45 said: SS7Man said: ... I'm not sure if you take it and move it to a "Saving" account to "hold it" to make money on the interest would be considered a form of theft also. ...

Fairly sure if you can produce the bank's money for them they would not have any issue.

True, but I would deposit it at another bank to make the interest, so the error making bank couldn't correct any interest "mistakes."

I am the treasurer of a nonprofit, and we had a mistake in a 7 day CD. I withdrew most of the principal when it matured. A few days later, I was reconciling accounts, and noticed the CD still had a very high balance, but so did the MMA I moved the money to. They had credited the MMA, but not taken the money from the CD. I called the local branch manager, and she said they'd fix it. It took about 3 weeks, and interest was paid along the way, but a day after the withdrawal was corrected, the 3 weeks worth of interest was corrected, too.

kamalktk said: SS7Man said: take it and move it to a "Saving" account to "hold it" to make money on the interest
what you should do.


No doubt the bank, upon correcting its error, will also claw back any interest earned on the erroneous sum. But it's probably the safest approach for people not inclined to report the error.

It could be these folks were Steve Miller fans.

onetwo3 said: I was going to say, what should you do? I have a friend in this situation. Money was in unclaimed funds with the state treasurer. Without getting into too much detail, it was an error, with regard to a cashier's check. It was the original. Because of an error, it had been reissued, but somehow they were in receipt of the funds twice.
Sounds like the friend should be contacting the state treasurer, not the bank.

onetwo3 said: I was going to say, what should you do? I have a friend in this situation. Money was in unclaimed funds with the state treasurer. Without getting into too much detail, it was an error, with regard to a cashier's check. It was the original. Because of an error, it had been reissued, but somehow they were in receipt of the funds twice.

My friend put the money in an account and has not touched it. She contacted many people at the bank when it first happened (it was several years ago, now), to no avail. Now, she contacts the bank 2x per year, trying to give it back. Nobody has been able to handle it - they simply pass the buck, until it reaches a point where she doesn't get a call back. FWIW, it's a 5-figure sum of money.

So --- what else could she do? What should she do?


Almost treat the money as if it's not there, at least for a few years. Don't spend it obviously. Otherwise I'd thoroughly document the interactions where she's trying to alert bank and give money back. A 2-3 times maybe. Get emails or send faxes/letters and keep all communications from bank. That way she has proof that she tried to give it back and alert bank of the error. After doing this a few times, burden to correct the error shouldn't be hers so I'd stop trying altogether.

In the meantime move the money to a HYS or CD and get interest on it. It's still liquid so she can give the money back on short notice but it's not eroding too much. Not sure what's the status of limitation on this but after a few years they might not have enough traces to find out where money should be given back to so it's unlikely to happen.

tsanju said: God .. a mistake made by the bank and they will call the customers as thieves (what if the account was not closed? still?) Last year, Citi debited $220 while they were clearing $22 check of mine. I noticed this error and communicated but it still took 4 weeks to get my money back. There was not even a sorry from them

I believe the difference is on scale and action taken here. Errors of a few $100s, you might care about it but bank really doesn't even if they're the ones losing the few $100s. It's also easier to claim that the error went unnoticed on a few $100s. But a difference of $170,000+ should get noticed by most people. Obviously, the couple here noticed since they tried change lifestyle immediately.

There's no way they could reasonably claim that they believed the money was legitimately theirs. As roofer, he should have invoices for his jobs. $175k roofing job would be a huge project to start with so he'd know. And those large jobs would not be typically paid all at once. There'd be a materials payment and a few intermediate payments with progress of job. After some years in the business, he'd know very well his usual cashflow. Nay, that was a simple and deliberate attempt to take the money and run which is why they call it theft. If they had done nothing but leave the money on the account, it'd have been a little easier to claim innocence/ignorance of the error. But action taken shows their intent pretty clearly.

so this is just like the housing collapse problem?

kamalktk said: SS7Man said: take it and move it to a "Saving" account to "hold it" to make money on the interest
what you should do.



WRONG!!! Sorry but I couldn't help myself This happened to me 10 years ago on Long Island with Citibank. I was told that the teller forgot to close out business with the customer before me in line and when I made my deposit it was added to my account. I caught the error that afternoon and MOVED THE MONEY TO MY SAVINGS ACCOUNT until I had the time to call the bank (I owned a small delivery company and was very busy). The next morning (8am) a VP from Citibank called me about it. He told me I could go to jail for STEALING the money and that I should give them the money back immediately. So I explained that I didn't take it and it was still in his bank (savings account). At that point he apologized and said just transfer it back and then they would debit the account. Problem was they had already done that in the middle of the night. It threw my account WAY into the red. Then all of the checks I had just handed to my suppliers bounced! I made them mail apology letters to ALL of my suppliers that bounced the checks. The crazy thing was in the end after all was said and done... They still charged me for half of one NSF fee. At that point I was just to pissed to deal with it.

This happened to us last month.
Chase actually put 9K extra in our account, instead of 900 and sent us a letter explaining, 6 months later, why they are taking the money out.
We seriously did not know about it as lots of accounts' totals show up together.
but the money was definitely not ours and it was a mistake from the banks side, so they took it back.

there was enuf money in the account for the bank to recover the money, and i assume that the bank would tell us to give the money back, if there was not.

But in the OPs case, if this was a business account funded with 500K or more, and if the customer was not notified of the error, this case is simply going to be thrown out.

I think you many need to move the money to an interest bearing account, after all, in normal times that 175k is not FDIC insured

fadippides said: I think you many need to move the money to an interest bearing account, after all, in normal times that 175k is not FDIC insuredJoint account = $200K in FDIC coverage under the old limits.

People without integrity rationalize cheating.

Here is a similar scenario that happened where I work. Two wire transfers come in. Customer A's transfer is for $7500. Customer B's transfer is for $130,000. Tickets are processed incorrectly and A gets $130k and B gets $7.5k. Both are large commercial customers who get wires freqently. Both were personally called to notify them of their transfer (the correct amounts). Mistake did not surface until six months later when Customer B calls and wants to know more info about a $7.5k entry to their account. They NEVER MISSED the $130k even though it was from a title company. Meanwhile, Customer A has long since spent said $130k. If fact, he spent it all in about three weeks - paying bills and writing himself $30k in checks. He claimed he takes poor books and just spent what was in the account, but his bank officer doesn't believe it. The bank made him take out a loan for the difference.

Glitch99 said: Quanah said: While it is obvious that it is the couple's greed that got them into this situation, the bank can not completely be without blame. I do not know what type of bank this is, but my credit union has weekly audits to catch mistakes such as this. The biggest question is who the hell handled the withdrawal? When I tried to close my old BB&T account (was another bank that was bought out, spiraled down into "fees" hell), the teller tried to talk me out of it, her supervisor tried to talk me out of it, they branch manager requested an exit interview. All that for less than $2,000. These people withdrew over $150,000, and apparently nobody thought to look at their account balance history? Nobody got the attention of a supervisor or someone higher up to validate the transaction? If I tried to withdraw $5,000 from my savings in my credit union, I could probably see the branch manager damn near killing herself to get to my teller to inquire as to why.I make plenty of withdrawals, large and small, from my bank accounts, yet cant remember the last time one was done in a branch.
Citibank limited my cash withdrawal to only $5,000 so I had to go to SIX different branches to get the cash I needed to pay my contractor. So they do enforce little rules to discourage you from making withdrawals.

From another source: "However, the Press Enterprise reported that police said Randy Pratt was employed as a metal roofing installer and only earned about $3,800 as a roofer all last year."

News reports also say the couple is now legally separated. Is PA a community property state?

sukeyS said: From another source: "However, the Press Enterprise reported that police said Randy Pratt was employed as a metal roofing installer and only earned about $3,800 as a roofer all last year."That's probably what he reported to the IRS, which would likely much less than he actually took home.

swandown said: erinm said: Authorities say 50-year-old Randy Pratt and 36-year-old Melissa Pratt

Way to go Randy!
Judgement withheld until we see pics of Melissa....


Delete (27.30kB)
Disclaimer
fw9999 said: swandown said: erinm said: Authorities say 50-year-old Randy Pratt and 36-year-old Melissa PrattWay to go Randy! Judgement withheld until we see pics of Melissa....Here ya go!

he spent it on hookers, she spent it on blow.

fewchaboy said: Glitch99 said: Quanah said: While it is obvious that it is the couple's greed that got them into this situation, the bank can not completely be without blame. I do not know what type of bank this is, but my credit union has weekly audits to catch mistakes such as this. The biggest question is who the hell handled the withdrawal? When I tried to close my old BB&T account (was another bank that was bought out, spiraled down into "fees" hell), the teller tried to talk me out of it, her supervisor tried to talk me out of it, they branch manager requested an exit interview. All that for less than $2,000. These people withdrew over $150,000, and apparently nobody thought to look at their account balance history? Nobody got the attention of a supervisor or someone higher up to validate the transaction? If I tried to withdraw $5,000 from my savings in my credit union, I could probably see the branch manager damn near killing herself to get to my teller to inquire as to why.I make plenty of withdrawals, large and small, from my bank accounts, yet cant remember the last time one was done in a branch.
Citibank limited my cash withdrawal to only $5,000 so I had to go to SIX different branches to get the cash I needed to pay my contractor. So they do enforce little rules to discourage you from making withdrawals.


Is that only with "cash" withdrawals? I could see how withdrawing $5000 in cash a problem.. but I had no problems withdrawing $40,000 from my bank with a bank check to pay the downpayment on a house a few years ago. However, looking back now.. I wish they didn't allow me to do that.

Randy could have retired overseas for 12 yrs, then return to the US at age 62 to collect Social Security.

If they had spent it on a primary house in Florida, they could have kept it. Judge would have declared they pay it back; they declare bankruptcy; and get to keep their new house.

cayman islands dumb arse are from PA no shocker there

depalma13 said: A friend of mine once made a deposit in his checking account and the teller accidentally wrote his account number in the deposit line. He caught the mistake later that night. When he checked his account online he had a pending deposit of over $23 million.

Not only did she write it wrong on the slip, she actually entered it into the account.
Penfed once did that on my moms IRA CD.

We still have the statement showing $42Million balance.

weisblatt said: kamalktk said: SS7Man said: take it and move it to a "Saving" account to "hold it" to make money on the interest
what you should do.



WRONG!!! Sorry but I couldn't help myself This happened to me 10 years ago on Long Island with Citibank. I was told that the teller forgot to close out business with the customer before me in line and when I made my deposit it was added to my account. I caught the error that afternoon and MOVED THE MONEY TO MY SAVINGS ACCOUNT until I had the time to call the bank (I owned a small delivery company and was very busy). The next morning (8am) a VP from Citibank called me about it. He told me I could go to jail for STEALING the money and that I should give them the money back immediately. So I explained that I didn't take it and it was still in his bank (savings account). At that point he apologized and said just transfer it back and then they would debit the account. Problem was they had already done that in the middle of the night. It threw my account WAY into the red. Then all of the checks I had just handed to my suppliers bounced! I made them mail apology letters to ALL of my suppliers that bounced the checks. The crazy thing was in the end after all was said and done... They still charged me for half of one NSF fee. At that point I was just to pissed to deal with it.


But if you had overdraft protection linking your checking to your savings account, everything would have been fine?...



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