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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
AlbertG
August 07, 2012 at 12:05 pm

The joke's on us. BOA is "too big to fail". No matter how badly they do, in the end we (the taxpayers) are on the hook via the FDIC and crooked politicians to bail them out. Banking is a scam that would make Bernie Madoff blush. No risk, huge rewards... the new American way.

Lobo
August 07, 2012 at 8:55 am

Several years ago, a large deposit accidently was put into my BoA account. I immediately went to the bank to tell them of the error. After 20 minutes of being drilled like a criminal, as if I had done this myself, I closed my account and left BoA and never went back.

Packrabid
August 06, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Why would this article make me laugh? The bank will simply make up the loss through charging other customers ever-increasing 'convenience' fees and other fees.

concerned
August 05, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Why is it if we make a mistake-we get charge up the ying yang-but a BANK makes a mistake-oh god for bid-they should be penalized-and they guys yes should know he didn't have the money-but its the bank error they should eat it-but we all know they would just find another fee to charge cust to make up for it. Take it out of those big wigs who's making the million dollars a year-they call all the shot-and steal our money right under our noses-how can they sleep at night-oh yea it pays for there kids college-hse-toys etc......

Chuck Bennett
August 05, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Love to hear that this happened to BOA. They are such a deserving bunch. After my dealings with them, it couldn't to a nicer bunch of guys! Ha, Ha,!!!! CHUCK

JCREOLE
August 05, 2012 at 3:51 pm

THIS IS GREAT I WOULD HAVE LEFT THE COUNTRY AND CHANGED MY NAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

debbie
August 05, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Well just another example of a banking system out of control. Maybe they should stop shipping all of their backoffice work to other countries

leewarren
August 05, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Heh Heh Heh!!!

leewarren
August 05, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Must have been a liberal. spending other people's money

Bob K.
August 05, 2012 at 10:32 am

I never had any good feeling's for Bank of America, but now really looks like it is time for me to close the accounts that I still have with them. I think the man should get help with his gambling problem. I wish this would have happened to me, I would have a new home and bank account where the money could not be gotten too.