U.S. News


Roswell Man On The Hook For $43,000 Bank Error He Spent

Everyone would like to think they'd do the right thing if the bank mistakenly gave them lots of cash, but for some folks the temptation is too great.
Posted at 9:25 PM, Jul 03, 2014

Imagine checking your bank balance and seeing some absurdly high number you know just can't be right. What would you do? (Via Flickr / Johnny Vulkan)

Well, try not to do what a Roswell, New Mexico man did after his bank mistakenly turned a $430 deposit into a $43,000 one: spend it all. (Via Flickr / wabisabi2015)

"The bank has reached out to the man multiple times. Police say a bank official has spoken to him by phone, but the man has yet to pay back the money. Now the bank is taking legal action." (Via KOB-TV)

That's right, the Roswell man, who wasn't identified in reports, is on the hook for all the ill-gotten cash, because, even though it was in his account, it wasn't really his.

A writer for Bankrate says, "​Despite the overwhelming justification for why the universe owes you this money, it's as untouchable as a spanking-new sports car with the keys in the ignition and the doors wide open."

So if there's ever a bank error in your favor, you should notify the bank and try to correct the mistake. And that's exactly what all the folks reporting on the story at our nation's news desks would like to think they'd do. This isn't Monopoly, after all.

"I don't know, I think that you just call the bank and say, 'Whoops, there's a big error.'"

"Yeah, there's a problem here."

"Don't go spending it." (Via WLEX)

"That's not your money."

"Yeah, certainly not. Maybe move it into your savings account, maybe get a little bit of that interest going there. I don't know if they can take that back." (Via KNVN)

"I would probably call the bank but want to pay off my car." (Via WEAU)

​But it turns out the temptation is too much for some people. Last month, the New York Daily News reported that a British woman, who went on a luxury shopping spree after getting an extra $88,000 in her account, will have to pay the money back.

​And earlier this year a Georgia teen was arrested for taking a $31,000 bank error and buying a BMW with it. (Via WPTV)

As for the Roswell man, the district attorney's office is currently looking at the case and deciding whether to pursue it in civil or criminal court.