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Stolen Money

Discussion in 'Banking, Finance, Investments' started by ryxxui, Oct 17, 2009.

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  1. ryxxui

    ryxxui Law Topic Starter New Member

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    State: Connecticut

    I recieved a settlement when I turned 18. $350k was split among four accounts in my name. The accounts were in my lawyers name until I turned 18 and then they were signed to me. At the time I lived with my mother. She had access to all of my account information, and personal information. I moved out into my own apartment. Yesterday I went to the bank to check up on my account for the first time in a year. I never changed my adress so the statements were being sent to my mothers adress. I found out that every month, $10k was being transferred from my account to my mothers personal savings account via online banking transactions from the credit unions website, to a total of $130k. I never set up my online banking for that account, and it was obvious that she was stealing my money. I confronted her and she admitted that she had a drug problem and had been stealing my money for about a year now. I tried to access the online banking, but I don't know the password, security questions or anything, because I didn't set it up. What can I do now? Will I be able to get my money back? Are there any ways to prove that she took the money? Like tracing the IP adress to her personal computer? If I don't know the passwords or security questions then it's pretty obvious she was doing this. I know obvious doesn't translate to evidence, but the paperwork is all there. Can anyone point me in the right direction, give me a little bit of info so I know what I'm getting myself into?

    The bank told me to go to the police, and I'm going to go to my lawyer on monday, but I just want some info now!
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm really sorry. This is such a heartbreaking incident. But there is a serious problem here with significant repercussions. Right now, you'd think about how to tell your mother what is going on because your best remedy is freezing the account and going to the police. She will be charged with grand larceny and it will be a slam dunk - an investigation can be done by the DA and it will reveal all the details without you having to spend a dime. That still doesn't mean you'll get your money back.

    Why did the law firm put the money in her name and allow her to remove money without dual signatures? That's a question I'd ask the law firm and it might subject them to liability - I'm not sure since I haven't had the opportunity to practice in that area and create an account for a minor with a legal guardian. However, that would obviously seem the most prudent method.

    I specifically point to the above because if there is any possibility of you being paid back, it will either be from (a) the bank as a result of its potential negligence if there was any, (b) the law firm's negligence if they set up an account that was for your benefit but without you being a necessary co-signer, since your mother is probably without funds and will now need to hire a defense attorney to represent her since she is likely judgment proof.

    You should notify the bank immediately and find out the details above, at least that is what I would do. This is a very, very difficult decision. Perhaps you should first go to the bank and freeze the account. Next... you need to speak to your mother about paying you back or facing the consequences and helping her with her drug and theft problem.
     
  3. tpajet

    tpajet New Member

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    i don't think she needs to freeze the accounts. What she needs to do is go to the bank and explain what happened, and have them change the online info. They should be easily able to do so. Also, I would have them open a new account, and transfer the money to it. This way, her mother won't even know the account numbers. It's just an extra level of security. And if they don't want to move the money to a new account, then ask for a cashier's check for the full amount in your account, close the account, and go open one at a new bank - but make sure it's one you have no other accounts with. The reason the money was spilt between accounts was probably due to the fact that you are only insured up to $250,000 from FDIC (although it used to be only $100,000, and probably was at the time the accounts were set up.)

    As stated, this would be a slam dunk case, and it doesn't take the tracing of IP addresses. All they have to do is get the banking records from your bank which will show the money coming from your account, and the account to which it went to.

    They didn't. The accounts were in the lawyer's names until she turned 18. Mom just set up the online banking info. And all she would have had to do was go to the bank's website and do so. The bank would have thought it was the actual account holder since Mom would know her daughter's personal info including SSN. Basically this boils down to a case of ID theft.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  4. jharris352

    jharris352 New Member

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    You will need to do a police report. You may be able to pursue the bank for loss of your money. They have a duty to exercise due care in who they give online banking privileges to. Go after the bank, but I warn you, they will go after your Mom criminally and she may do time.
     
  5. tpajet

    tpajet New Member

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    She can try, but I doubt she will win. The mother set this up online. And she would have had every piece of info needed to pose as the daughter. As I said, this is a classic case of ID theft. The bank has no way to safeguard against someone having every piece of info to completely pose as you.

    Also, I may be reading her wrong, but I'm not so sure that she's that concerned about her mother doing time. In fact, if her mother did get into trouble criminally, she will probably get the drug counseling and rehabilitation that she needs. And if mom is blowing through $10K a month for drugs, she certainly needs major help. I know some of the stuff can get pricy, but $333 A DAY???
     
  6. cocojambo

    cocojambo New Member

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    Yes this could seriously impact your mom's reputation and criminal record... If you sue the bank for not taking due care when issuing your online banking details, the bank could in turn sue your mother... It's best you talk to your mother to hand back some of the money and alert the bank of this incident, and make sure your bank accounts remain confidential... Change your passwords and account#s, replace all your credit & debit cards.
     
  7. Antigone

    Antigone New Member

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    It sounds like since mom knew the OPs personal information and the statements were going to her that she signed up for online banking on her own. I do not see that the bank did anything wrong here.

    The OP needs to file a police report against her mother for theft. She should totally close this account, and my suggestion to her/him is to go to a totally different bank. Mom shouldn't know which bank it is.

    The OP does bear some responsibility here. He/she should have been looking at those statements monthly. This would not have stopped mom from stealing money, but it certainly would have mitigated the damages the OP has suffered.

    As a banker, I cannot recommend strong enough that consumers need to be their own best protectors. The bank will supply you with all the resources you need in order to protect your money. It is up to us as consumers to use them. Had the OP used the tools available, the bank balances might be over 100k higher than now.

    I am sorry that you have to go through this, you never expect that your own parents would steal from you. Please make sure that you use the resources made available to you to protect yourself from now on, and in this case that would include filing the police report.
     
  8. nitikasnv

    nitikasnv New Member

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    I agree with you:

    Hi,

    I do agree with you he should do police complain because she is the culprit and he knows about this so police will find the evidence the against her.

    He should worry at all and i hope he will get his money back.

    Thanks
     

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