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Can I sue if I am a fraud victim?

Clarksville, IN |

Recently I became the victim of a fraudulent check scam. I was sent several checks that together totaled nearly $20,000. I only deposited 2 of the fake checks and received money from them. I was instructed to wire a large sum of the money to other individuals and keep so much of it for myself. FEDERAL RESERVE BANK cleared them after about 10 days. Turns out the checks were fake. I was jailed due to this. checks were for a job offer.

Questions:
1. How do fake checks "slip" through the federal reserve?
2. Can I sue my bank for failing to notify me of this fake check? It could have saved both myself and the bank money if they had made a phonecall to the bank the check was written on
3. Doesnt the bank have a duty to investigate a check that they are suspicious about before depositing it?

My bank notified police before they notified me. The officer who was assigned to the case only took a report from the bank and not me and I am the victim here! Yes, the bank is out of thousands of dollars, but so am I!! They are still able to do business every day,..but I have to bring my account to a positive balance. How hard is it for a bank to determine if an account exists, the funds are available, or if a check is legit in general? Please do not respond if you have something rude or cocky to say. Thank You.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Thousands and thousands of checks go thru the clearinghouse process. Your bank is not going to know if another bank's check is fraudulent. Normally, a bank that is suspicious about a check will put a hold on the check. In some states, there are laws requiring checks to be cleared in 2 days. Whether you can sue the bank remains to be seen. You need to seek a lawyer in your area about this. Even if you do not go forward against the bank, the bank may be coming after you to get its money back. It may even siphon the money you have in your current accounts to make up some of the loss for the money it paid out. Never send money back to someone who has sent you a big check. That is a huge red flag. Good Luck.

The information provided should not be considered legal advice. I am not licensed to practice in any State other than SC. The results of your case will depend on the presentation of evidence, the law and other factors that may change depending on an in depth analysis of the facts of the case. Please see an attorney before making legal decisions.

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Posted

Thank you for the information. My bank held the check for 10 days before it was available for deposit. (Actually the Federal Reserve made the deposit on my bank's behalf). I guess questions need to be asked why and how a fake check was not caught by the FR after being held for 10 days.

Posted

It seems to me your ire is misdirected. Seems you should be upset at the person who sent you a fraudulent instrument. The bank has an obligation and right to try and make good on a bad check, there are several ways they may do this including holding your current funds under some circumstances as well as suing you which I had occur with a client who had to reimburse the bank over a number of years after passing and receiving funds from a bad check from a foreign country . You have said nothing about the arrest which I believe should be more of an issue to many persons in you situation. The arrest indicates the authorities may believe you were more than just a victim. I agree with the other attorney's answer in regard to the multitude of checks that pass through an institution daily. We are each responsible to try our best to assure that the instruments we pass for honoring have a good indication that they are valid. Good luck on both issues.

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Posted

As I stated in my initial comment, the bank held the check for 10 days. The funds were not immediately disbursed to me. It is and was ultimately up to the bank to decide to deposit the funds into my account.

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