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ATM error costs BofA big time

By David McMillin · Bankrate.com
Friday, June 22, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

For all the readers who have been frustrated with Bank of America recently, here's something that will make you laugh: The banking giant just accidentally gave a Detroit man $1.5 million. It doesn't look like the bank will be recovering the funds anytime soon, either.

Ronald Page, a BofA customer whose checking account supposedly only had a few hundred dollars, didn't receive any insufficient funds notifications when he attempted to make cash withdrawals at the ATM. In fact, he didn't even receive the traditional alert that he had reached his daily withdrawal limit. Instead, a rare ATM error allowed him to continually take out as much cash as he pleased at ATMs and casino cash windows.

So what did Page do with the money? Invest it and change his name? Squirrel it away in a Swiss bank account and leave the country? This was no criminal mastermind. This was just a man who stumbled on a treasure, and his luck appeared to stop once his ATM card dispensed the cash. He gambled it all away at three Michigan casinos. Now, he's facing federal charges, and it looks like he'll wind up in jail.

The story is laughable on both sides. It's hard to believe that any checking account holder could believe that he would get away with collecting that much cash (and lose it that quickly). However, I think Bank of America looks even more foolish here. With all the advanced banking technology, you would expect the institution to catch on to the problem relatively quickly, but it took the Charlotte-based bank 15 days to put a stop on Page's account. For a corporation that has seemed so concerned about profits for shareholders, that seems like quite a long time to let a rogue account holder drain his nonexistent cash flow.

I think it's fairly safe to assume that BofA won't be able to cash in on these overdraft fees or out-of-network ATM charges.

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379 Comments
LoFlyer
August 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I had noticed the same thing, I could purchase items on my BOA card after my account was overdrawn, never refusing purchases and happily charging me a 25 dollar fee for each purchase.
The only protection was to access my account daily to check the balance. I think its hilarious that someone accidentally found this deliberate "flaw" and exploited it to the max! If the lawyer can prove that BOA deliberatly created the flaw to exploit unwarry debit card holders, he can probally get his client off with no jail time and create the basis for a massive class-action lawsuit worth multi-millions.
Due to some recent problems created by BOA that BOA management declined to fix, BOA no longer has my checking account and in four months I am going to pay off the mortgage six years early.
BOA will be out of my life forever.

Greg Krynen
August 17, 2012 at 10:03 pm

He can claim temporary insanity. Why? He obviously has a gambling addiction, as an addict being given free money he could not control his urges to go gamble it away. It is a recognized illness.

bofaisbad
August 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I had a credit card with B of A and they would bill me three times in a month. The government eventually outlawed this and other predatory lending practices they do. I paid the account off closed it and will never do business with this bank again. I am also working on my DBA and each class B of A constantly comes up when we study bad ethical practices, and scandal.

BofArse
August 16, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Anyone still using these thieves needs a wake up call.

Rocky Termanini
August 16, 2012 at 1:32 am

Bank of America should never carry the name of America…it is one of the worst bank in the world…it is a labyrinth of bureaucracy where the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing…the people in the ivory tower should be fired without pay. I hope this bank gets sold to the Koreans…