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Cape police say customer won't give back extra money from bank error

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 ~ Updated 11:57 AM

Editor's note: This story has been edited to clarify that police do not suspect the bank teller intentionally gave the customer the extra money.

Cape Girardeau police officers are still investigating a theft that occurred Friday at the Bank of Missouri, where a customer reportedly refused to return an excess amount of cash mistakenly given to him by a bank teller.

The man entered Bank of Missouri to access a safety deposit box to exchange a large stack of mixed bills for a stack of $20 bills.

According to Adam Glueck, a spokesman with the Cape Girardeau Police Department, a bank employee gave him the wrong amount, which was substantially more than he was owed. The error, he said, was discovered after the customer left when the bank vault and drawer were balanced. Glueck said there was no evidence suggesting that the extra money was intentionally delivered to the customer.

The bank customer was contacted by the bank and police officers.

"He refused to come back and turn the excess amount over. He claimed he was given the correct amount," Glueck said. "Officers have completed a state warrant application for the charge of stealing over $500, but as of now no charges have been filed."

The case is still under investigation.

Pertinent Address:

1622 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, MO


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does the customer actually have to give it back though?

I see a line of mistakes that shouldn't necessarily have to fall on the customer.

Oh well, just curious

-- Posted by CMGCEO on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 12:52 AM

"does the customer actually have to give it back though?

I see a line of mistakes that shouldn't necessarily have to fall on the customer.

Oh well, just curious"

YES.

The money does not belong to the customer, and refusing to return it using 'finders keepers clause' as some sort of justification simply indicates that the customer is as stupid as he is dishonest.

If I buy something from you and you hand me a $100 bill instead of a $10 in change, is that extra $90 mine simply because it made it home before you figured it out?

I know that a lot of people think this way - they (bank, oil company, insurance company, big retailer, etc.) have plenty of $$, so if I can get one over on them, then so be it. It is not wrong, they had it coming. This is how people justify immoral actions.

Hello CUSTOMER: There is no great cloud of mystery in which you might hide here. This isn't rocket science - just a bit of basic math. You are going to loose. Take this opportunity to "discover" that the bank is right and present yourself at their front door tomorrow when they open, cash in hand, and spare yourself from some serious trouble. At the very least you would look like slightly less of a schmuck than you appear to be at this moment.

-- Posted by Benevolent_Dictator on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 1:35 AM

what also worries me is the fact that the bank teller handed out $500 dollars this person wasn't supposed to get...perhaps this teller needs to find a different line of work.

-- Posted by looneyleona on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 4:51 AM

Not always true, a few years back a utility company in some western state sent a rebate check that was suppose to be $90 dollars, but someone screwed up and added some extra zeros and it ended up being $90,000 and the courts decided that the customer could keep it.

-- Posted by tlc2cann on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 6:15 AM

If it was the other way around and the customer leaves the window the custom is just hosed, a bank employee once told me.

-- Posted by grandma73 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 7:07 AM

Under Missouri Revised Statute 570.030, "A person commits the crime of stealing if he or she appropriates property or services of another with the purpose to deprive him or her thereof, either without his or her consent or by means of deceit or coercion."

This statute clearly requires the individual charged to "appropriate property." The text of the statute requires some action on behalf of the charged individual. Merely accepting money from someone who hands it to you does not qualify under the stealing statute. Here, the bank teller consented to the transfer of the currency without any deceit or coercion on the part of the alleged perpetrator. Of course, this won't necessarily stop the police from arresting the fellow.

The law offers significantly less protection to those who voluntarily part with their property than those whose property is taken from them.

Moral of the story: count money carefully before handing it over to someone else.

-- Posted by ScaliaFan on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 7:12 AM

If the bank want's their money back, then they need to file the appropriate paper work. They contact the "Customer" who will inturn send them the paperwork to dispute the action. Please allow 5 to 7 business days for the paperwork to arrive. After filling out the paperwork, the bank will send it back to the "Customer" who will review said paperwork and determine if their was an error in the transaction. Please allow 30 day's for the review. If in fact an error was found, the "Customer" will send a refund check to the bank in the amount of the error. Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery of the check.

Isn't this how the bank would work it to get YOUR money to you if they messed it up? Just wondering.

-- Posted by USAFGuy on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 7:29 AM

USAFGuy

You are right on with this.

How do we know that someone at the bank did not slip a few bills in their pocket and blame the customer?

Shouldn't the headlines read "Cape police say customer won't give back extra money from ALLEDGED bank error."

-- Posted by gman on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 7:49 AM

The article states that the warrant application was for "over $500." Something fishy is going on. The teller miscounted at least 25 $20 bills??? I could see one or maybe even two $20 bills slipping through.... but 25??? Come on. I think someone may be getting framed here.

As for the customer being hosed when they leave the drive up, I agree, that's just wrong. The bank should be able to easily verify, when they balance their drawers, if there is a matching amount of overage or underage that the customer claims.

USAFGuy, funny and very true. We should all handle our messed up transactions this way, maybe the companies would learn a little lesson.

-- Posted by RJB3 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 8:06 AM

Seems to be civil dispute, not a criminal matter. The customer claims he was given the correct amount.

The bank claim it overpaid.

Let a civil jury decide, court costs to loser.

-- Posted by Observer1 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 8:17 AM

Seems to be civil dispute, not a criminal matter. The customer claims he was given the correct amount.

The bank claim it overpaid.

Let a civil jury decide, court costs to loser.

-- Posted by Observer1 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 8:18 AM

The customer says he was given the right amount of money. Have they questioned the teller, perhaps the teller stuck the money in his or her pocket and claimed they gave it to someone else.

-- Posted by newman90 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 8:29 AM

first, wasn't the money given to the customer counted out to him/her when it was handed over? If so, it should have been caught then both by the customer and the teller.

second, doesn't the bank have security cameras in place that can be reviewed to determine how much money was counted out and given to the customer.

I would say there is your answer

-- Posted by havefaith64 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 8:32 AM

I was given to much money at a bank one time. I thought really hard and went with my gut and returned it. The bank gave me a $5 credit and some kind of star rate.

If this guy says he doesn't have the moeny then what can they do. He didn't go into a bank and try to steal $500+. The guy went in to the bank and they made a mistake. So they should pay not this guy. I think the teller should have to come up with the missing money.

-- Posted by undertow666 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 8:33 AM

It seems to me there are two different discussions going on here:

1. The issue of whether you are 'obligated' to report an error if you receive too much money

2. Whether or not there actually WAS a banking error and not a bank employee trying to blame a customer for their dishonesty or incompetence.

I was on the receiving end of a banking error. Went thru a drive-thru and the teller mistakenly gave me the amount of money I had on the deposit slip..not the amount of money I had requested to keep out of the deposit ($100 instead of $10) There was a brief 5 second 'what-if' pause then my morals kicked in...I drove back around to the bank drive thru and returned the money. They were VERY grateful. It shouldn't be an issue of 'whose fault' it is...if it's not your money then return it.

On the flip side as to who is telling the truth then perhaps there is security footage of the customer being handed the money and a corresponding time-date stamp paperwork to either verify or deny the allegations.

-- Posted by Catbert on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 8:37 AM

The problem here isn't one party of the other,it's both! The bank handles money everyday, they cash checks, pay out bonds, and even handle financial returns for stocks. Yet they are still capable of making a $500 error that could put a man in jail for a very long time?

The man if indeed he was paid out to much, should have been honest and returned the money straight away. If in fact the whole story comes out then justice will prevail! The solution isn't to make this guy into some kind of martyr, it is to find out where the error occurred and rectify the situation before anyone gets into serious trouble.

Just return the money,and be a man of integrity.

-- Posted by samanthas873 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 8:45 AM

The bank teller should be fired. To mistakenly over give more than $500 in 20's is outrageous

-- Posted by Skeptic1 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 8:47 AM

If justice is served by carma, the result of deceit will be public humility and the reflection in the mirror.

-- Posted by EZ Rider on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 8:58 AM

I agree if this customer has the money it should be returned because it is stealing. However, how does the bank know that it was this particular customer? It could have been some other customer. Or, as some have suggested the teller pocketed it. I experienced being given the wrong amount ($20 less than what I was suppose to get) while at the drive thru of a bank and was told that since I had pulled up to count the money (just enough for the next customer to pull up to the window) there was nothing they could do because I had no proof that I was shorted. This seems to fall in the same category -- what proof does the bank have the teller gave him/her too much money? Lesson learned -- always count and recount if necessary before leaving the bank or, in the tellers situation, before finalizing the transaction.

-- Posted by Sunshine1 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 9:03 AM

The Customer claims he was given the CORRECT amount! Unless there is proof on video I see an issue with " my word against yours" ! Benevolent_ dictator thinks its a finders keeper issue but it is not! The customer claims he received the correct amount he does not say he found it and now he will keep it. Proof will be difficult me thinks. Much more to come here. If the customer is not telling the truth I hope he has a change of heart and returns the cash.

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 9:08 AM

So the guy had a lot of mixed cash in his safety deposit box and traded it in for all $20s -- how much cash are we talking about here was it for the ENTIRE transaction? The article claims that is was "substantially more than he was owed" so what was the percentage?

Sounds like Bank of MO has problems counting out money or with dense employees. For some reason I believe the customer in this case...not sure why but if you've ever transacted LARGE amounts of cash at a bank they are required to count and recount it and if its a LARGE amount its not uncommon for two employees to do it. Whatever the case Bank of MO obviously has issues. Hmmm a $500 loss may have been worth keeping quiet just to avoid the bad press -- I won't be doing any banking there for sure no matter the outcome of this case.

-- Posted by TommyStix on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 9:21 AM

grandma73, that is not true. If you call the bank with a discrepancy, at the end of the day when the drawers are balanced and show an over payment, the money is returned to you.

-- Posted by coolcat on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 9:28 AM

wait hold up...ok the article says...""Officers have completed a state warrant application for the charge of stealing over $500..."

So what was the exact amount that the customer allegedly supposedly absconded? Come on Journalism 101 inverted pyramid...anyone? It was OVER $500 but under what amount? Does the bank even know? Are the monkeys running the zoo?

-- Posted by TommyStix on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 9:29 AM

The part about the saftey deposit box and stack of mixed bills exchanged for a stack of $20 bills indicates to me the story doesn't have all the facts or has some wrong.

A friend was given the wrong amount at a drive through once and was not given a chance to make his case. The teller cut him off saying if you think it is wrong, go inside and talk to a bank officer. The first one said it was highly unlikely for the teller to make a mistake, the second said they would do a drawer count at the end of the day. As he was heading for the door he raised his voice and said, Well ok, but I know she gave $200 too much! He did not make it to the door before his repectability and believablity was suddenly elevated above and beyond that of the banks largest depositor!

-- Posted by Old John on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 9:31 AM

firing is pretty serious for a mistake if there's no indication the teller has a history. any of you people ever make a mistake that you weren't fired for?

-- Posted by wonderfulneighbors on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 9:39 AM

Doesnt the bank have cameras....... maybe they can go back and see where the money actually went!

-- Posted by Jim P on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 9:49 AM

I've had something like this happen to me, except it was the other way around. I had written a check out for $500 and only got $400.

I'm like Sunshine1, I left and actually went home before I counted it. When people are waiting behind you, it's just the right thing to do. Fortunately, I knew one of the managers that worked there, and they went straight to the teller and counted her drawer. It came up $100 over, so I was able to go back and get my money.

Was it an honest mistake? I don't know.

TommyStix,

It depends on the amount of money. They have different degrees of a crime. You can get a charge for stealing less than $500, more than $500 but less than a $1000, and so on.

-- Posted by SpankTheTank on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 10:19 AM

In my experience, if there is ever a discrepency with a customer, the teller will immediately count the drawer and attempt to resolve the issue.

People can make mistakes and for that reason, I will take the 30 seconds to count my money at the window, at the atm and even inventory my bag in the McDonalds drive thru. It takes a second and avoids potential hassle.

If the customer got the money, it was irresponsible on the teller's part, and he or she should be reprimanded. The unfortunate thing is that I am sure the drawer was not balanced until the end of the day or shift. There were probably many customers this teller waited on an while the likely person to receive the extra cash was the "bill switcher", there is no way that person could be pinpointed with any absolute certainty.

As far as the customer goes, that is really crummy if he did receive the overage and is being dishonest. That money is not free and just because you "stick it to the man" does not mean it is right.

-- Posted by Happy2BHere on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 10:44 AM

According to the headline and the article, they know without a doubt, this guy got the extra money. We know that is bogus because, if that were truly the case, they would have filed charges as soon as the guy was made aware of the findings and refused to give it back.

The guy may very well be guilty, or not. But, with the very limited amount of facts provided with this article it is proving just one thing - poor journalism.

-- Posted by malan on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 10:45 AM

About the bank cameras. I think you guys are watching too much CSI, and believe they can actually enhance those grainy images to a quality that would allow them to count the money. Haven't you seen the images of quickshop holdups? That's what you got.

-- Posted by Maynard on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 11:17 AM

All,

I just contacted Mr. Glueck at the police station. He said there was no evidence indicating that the bank teller gave the extra money intentionally.

"Right now it appears to be a mistake," he said.

Glueck declined to divulge specific information on the case, including video surveillance footage.

He said ultimately it will be up to the prosecuting attorney's office to decide if charges should be filed.

Bob Miller

editor

Southeast Missourian

-- Posted by BobMiller on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 11:50 AM

On behalf of The Bank of Missouri we would like to clear up any confusion regarding this recent bank error in which a customer was given too much cash in an exchange transaction. We have taken the appropriate steps to handle the situation, and are letting the authorities handle the matter in the most appropriate fashion.

We take great pride in all of our employees, but as any employer would, understand that everyone makes mistakes occasionally. Our teller was a well-trained and trusted employee who made an unintentional mistake...human error occurs in each and every organization in our society and we can only learn and grow from these mistakes.

-- Posted by cpmx9c on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 12:18 PM

So where did he teller go to high school? Have you ever handed a kid $20.02 on a $18.77 bill without the cash register figuring the change? The look in their eyes is scary sometimes.

I'm with greywolf. Word against word. Reprimand the teller.

-- Posted by grandma73 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 12:18 PM

capedowntown- how did John get involved in this?

-- Posted by Skeptic1 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 12:32 PM

Great update! Assuming no one actually gives a rip why they suspect this particular guy in the first place.

-- Posted by malan on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 1:10 PM

On behalf of The Bank of Missouri, I want to address "adidas's" comment regarding our employee. I did not address the issue of termination for the teller involved in this transaction. The police are investigating the matter and the outcome will be decided by them and only them at a future date. Depending on the outcome, we will take appropriate measures to deal with the situation internally. My point was to clarify that The Bank of Missouri hires very qualified and trustworthy employees and I would like for you to please refer to the Editor's note in regards to the teller's intentions.

If you have any questions about your own accounts or simply would like to make your concerns known to the bank, please call us at 573-547-6541 or email us at info@bankofmissouri.com and we will be more than happy to address your concerns. We want all of our customers to feel confident in our institution, and I assure you that you can bank with us in complete confidence.

I also want to point out that errors of this nature occur at all financial institutions, unfortunately, at one point or another.

-- Posted by cpmx9c on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 1:12 PM

CPMX9C,

I have no doubt that your customers have complete confidence in your institution. I have no doubt there was NO intent on any of your employees. I am concerned that this employee has read some of these comments and I am sure he or she is not happy. I would hope folks here will understand this and let this issue play itself out in the Courts. I do however have little faith in Morely Swingle making any decisions. Sorry Morely, no disrespect intended.....JMO

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 3:33 PM

I really look forward to what happens in this case. If the guy does have the money and they come up with proof that he does then he's going to go to jail. If he has the money and they have no proof then the bank will be s.o.l.. I still would like to know how the heck someone can be off by $500+ and not catch it the two times they count it.

-- Posted by undertow666 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 3:39 PM

I bank with the Bank of Missouri and all of the employees are kind and honest.

My job involves sending lots of letters. Even though I do the same thing everyday I sometimes make mistakes. Last week I grabbed the wrong letter and put in the the wrong envelope.

Luckily for me this mistake did not cause too big of a problem. For the ladies at the bank a small mistake like this could seem much worse because it involes cash rather then letters.

Just because their mistakes involve cash does not mean their mistakes are any worse then the kinds of mistakes the rest of us make at our jobs.

Also unlike my mistake, the person getting the wrong amount of cash sometimes wont give it back so you can put it where it belongs. Mr. _____ sent my letter back to me so I could send it to the right person.

-- Posted by Sunnyday on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 3:44 PM

cpmx9c-

If you actually represent the BoM should you be saying anything about this situation in a public forum? If there is a chance of any kind of legal action or suit then you might want to just put the keyboard away and sit on your hands.

-- Posted by crackpot on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 4:04 PM

Holy Shekels!!!!! I was just getting ready to switch banks and go to BofMo. Better think a little more about it now..............

-- Posted by Iliketoeat on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 4:10 PM

They know he has it, all they have to do is look at the change ticket that every teller at every bank makes out everytime they give change. With that being said you can see that it is the tellers fault for not counting and comparing what she had on her slips. I think that he SHOULD get to keep it, and BOM should take thier losses and hire a new associate. And keep thier "Rep" off the forum. It just makes them look tacky.

-- Posted by DefWhtBxrMom on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 7:08 PM

Does anyone remember the young man that found several thousand dollars deposited to his account and spent it only to 'learn' it wasn't his and he had to repay it? He was crying about the consequences of not having the money and not being able to pay it back. Duh...it wasn't his to start with.

In this case the money isn't his; it may not be his mistake but that doesn't make it right to keep it. Do the right thing and return it.

-- Posted by LiveAnotherDay on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 8:50 PM

LiveAnotherDay

The customer says the amount was correct.

-- Posted by grandma73 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 9:41 PM

look what i found !

-- Posted by ..Rick on Wed, Mar 24, 2010, at 7:56 AM

How can anyone say the teller needs to be fired? She made a mistake. She didn't hurt anyone, she didn't do anything intentionally to cause any harm. She made a mistake. She is human. Who in this world can say they have never made a mistake in their job? Is everyone that perfect every time? If you are, tell me where you work so I can go there & stare at you while you do your job. If you make a mistake, can I say to you, YOU SHOULD BE FIRED? Those of you who are saying she needs to be fired: have you ever worked in a bank? It's easy to say that a teller should pay attention & it's easy to say that the teller should be fired or shouldn't have made a mistake but if you have never walked in her shoes, you have no idea what the job is like! It's a lot harder than it looks. & to the comment about the look in the tellers eyes when asked to make change, well, that is because tellers are using a computer program that needs to show exact change. You want tellers to pay attention to their jobs & to do it right, then that means using the teller program & punching in exactly what goes in & exactly what comes out. If your check is for 9.99 & you give the teller a penny, it's not a simple matter of giving the customer a 10. The teller must first cash the check for 9.99, show that she counted out 9.99, then punch in the penny plus the 9.99 & then show that she gave out the ten. So, no, adding that penny is NOT a simple process. A lot more goes into the job than people realize. Also, stop & ask yourself if the bank would have gotten the police involved if they had any shred of doubt that there is a person out there who KNEW he was receiving money that didnt' belong to him. When there is a big pile of money sitting in front of you & you are 1 person & if someone is staring at you or talking to you, do you think it's possible to make a mistake - even one that big? Of course it's possible. You try it, just for 1 day & tell me how easy it is. Why is it so hard to believe that the customer is lying? If a customer gives a teller a 20 dollar bill & says it was a 50 & the teller argues, is the customer right? Saying the custoemr is always right is ridiculous, especially in today's world where people lie, cheat, & steal their way thru life. & to say that a teller could have taken it is also ridiculous. When a teller has access to hundreds of thousands of dollars in the vault at any given time, why would they steal 500 dollars right there in their window with people around & a camera on them? I hope the teller in question knows that not everyone is out to persecute her. There are a lot of people who work with the public & who work with money on a daily basis who have been in those shoes. I am glad the bank called the police & are supporting their employee. I hope the person who has the money finds a conscience & gives it back on his own but if not, karma can be an ugly thing & then I hope the justice system prevails!

-- Posted by semoreader on Wed, Mar 24, 2010, at 5:47 PM

For those of you that think that she should not be fired, you could not have worked any where cash handling is involved. First off almost all employers have a cash accountability amount, like where I work, you miss $50 in a shift your out the door. I'm sure a bank has something very similar and she should be held to that standard. Just because it was put in the paper it shouldn't save her job.

-- Posted by DefWhtBxrMom on Wed, Mar 24, 2010, at 8:58 PM

It's up to the bank to determine how to deal with the employee. Not us. If the teller is a seasoned, experienced teller, then the bank can take that into consideration. The individual who made out with an extra $500 needs to give it back - it is not his. I do not understand the sense of entitlement people seem to have these days. I recently read an article where a lady accidentally put the wrong bank account number on her tax return for a direct deposit - the beneficiary of this mistake promptly withdrew the amount and refused to give it back. People, do the right thing. I have heard horror stories about a gasoline station attendant accidentally setting the wrong price on a gas pump. You can't get gasoline for a $1.69 anymore...a little honesty goes farther than a couple of dollars. So this is not a story about whether somebody should be fired. This is a story about people gouging each other, and the dishonesty that is going on.

-- Posted by Beaker on Wed, Mar 24, 2010, at 10:31 PM

Post by ScaliaFan:

"Under Missouri Revised Statute 570.030, "A person commits the crime of stealing if he or she appropriates property or services of another with the purpose to deprive him or her thereof, either without his or her consent or by means of deceit or coercion."

This statute clearly requires the individual charged to "appropriate property." The text of the statute requires some action on behalf of the charged individual. Merely accepting money from someone who hands it to you does not qualify under the stealing statute. Here, the bank teller consented to the transfer of the currency without any deceit or coercion on the part of the alleged perpetrator. Of course, this won't necessarily stop the police from arresting the fellow.

The law offers significantly less protection to those who voluntarily part with their property than those whose property is taken from them.

Moral of the story: count money carefully before handing it over to someone else."

I have to disagree with your take on the stealing statute. The statute requires two things. Appropriation and purpose to deprive. Now, this is all assuming the customer did, in fact, receive more money than he was due.

First, the customer appropriated money that he was not entitled to receive. The statute does not specify that the person accused of stealing has to actually "take" something, such as what might occur when a person shoplifts, steals a bicycle from a yard, etc. Appropriation simply means that the person came into possession of the property. The manner in which the person gained possession does not matter. In this case, it was handed to him.

Second, because the customer is refusing to return money that he has no right to possess, he shows intent to deprive. If you loan me your car, and I refuse to give it back, I am showing intent to deprive you of your property.

Again, assuming it can be determined that this particular customer did receive more money than he was entitled to, it appears the stealing statute is appropriate.

-- Posted by bass3859 on Thu, Mar 25, 2010, at 3:12 AM


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