Bank Sues Customer After ATM Gave Out $100s Instead Of $5s

What would you do if this happened to you?

Picture this—you drive up to your local ATM, looking to get a few dollars from your bank account. But instead of getting the $5 you’ve requested, you get $100.

No, this isn’t a hidden camera prank.

A bank in Wichita, Kansas, says it actually happened to one of their customers, but instead of informing them, they say customer Christina Ochoa made more than 50 other withdrawals from the same malfunctioning ATM.

They are now suing her, seeking the return of more than $11,607, plus interest.

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Surprise! Extra Money!

According to The Wichita Eagle, Central National Bank claims that Ochoa knew the ATM wasn’t working correctly, yet proceeded to make more withdrawals over the course of five days to get extra cash.

They say the total amount of money the ATM should have given her was $1,485. Instead, the ATM dispensed $14,120—almost 10 times the intended withdrawal.

Court and bank records reportedly also show that Ochoa deposited nearly $2,000 into her account using the same ATM as she was making the withdrawals.

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Mom Denies Daughter Got Extra Money

Her mother, Christy Ochoa, is also named in the suit because the bank argues that she drove her daughter to the ATM multiple times between Jan. 13 and Jan. 17.

She says her daughter kept records of the withdrawals and did not receive $100 bills, saying they returned to the ATM multiple times because they needed $5 bills for a “money cake,” in which the bills are used to form the shape of a cake.

In case you’ve never heard of that before, money cakes are often used as wedding or baby shower gifts. Not a bad way to present a cash gift.

Christy Ochoa also claims there is proof that her daughter did not take the money.

“She had every transaction receipt,” she said. “My daughter never stole that kind of money.”

A lawyer for the bank declined to discuss the case with the Wichita Eagle, citing the fact that it was an ongoing legal situation.

“You can’t type in the number of fives you want at the ATM, so that’s why we did multiple transactions,” Christy Ochoa told the Wichita Eagle.

stack of money photo
Flickr | Philip Taylor PT

Bank Tried To Freeze Funds

The bank isn’t buying it, however. They claim most of the transactions were made in the middle of the night, and Christina “calculated subsequent withdrawals to maximize how much cash was mistakenly dispensed.”

Bank officials kept the money that remained in Ochoa’s checking account after the withdrawals, as well as nearly $700 that was deposited nearly two weeks after Christina Ochoa stopped making the withdrawals.

They say they tried to get the overpayments back from Christina Ochoa, but she refused to do so.

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Minivan Bought With Stolen Money?

They also want to seize a 2003 Chevrolet Venture minivan and a 2006 Dodge Ram Quad Cab truck the mother and daughter bought when the ATM wasn’t working, saying a $3,000 down payment for the truck was “was made up entirely of one hundred dollars bills.”

Money
Flickr | 401(K) 2013
Flickr | 401(K) 2013

Christy Ochoa says the cars were bought with money from a car wreck settlement and student loans.

“The first time the ATM dispensed more money that what was due Christina, Christina and Christy had a duty to return the surplus funds to the bank. … Not only did they fail to (do) so, but they capitalized on the situation by making a series of over fifty (50) structured withdrawals, most within minutes of each other, and transacted at all hours of the night in order to expose Central to more loss,” the lawsuit reportedly says.

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What would you do in this situation? It will certainly be interesting to follow this lawsuit as it plays out!

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