If you went up to an ATM and it spits out $11,000 at you, what would be your first thought? Would you do a happy dance and celebrate how you just came upon thousands of dollars with no strings attached? Or would you be worried? Maybe you’d want to get rid of that money as quickly as you could because you knew that it was not meant to be yours.
This is what happened to one woman in Wichita, Kansas, and she thought she ATM was like a slot machine that had hit the jackpot. When the bank that owned the ATM realized that the machine was spitting out free money to the unsuspecting woman, they decided to ask her for the money back. Since it was given to her by mistake, the woman felt that it was now her money, “finders keepers, losers weepers.” But the bank did not agree with her assessment. They have since filed a lawsuit and are taking her to court to get the $11,000 back.
Central National Bank says that the thieving customer Christina Ochoa learned that the ATM was malfunctioning and took advantage of it to the tune of $11,000.
The bank claimed that the machine was spitting out $100 bill instead of $5 bills. Because Ochoa caught onto the scheme, she made 50 withdrawals to get as much money as possible from the bank’s ATM.
Although Ochoa allegedly withdrew $1,488 from the machine, she was given $14,120 because of the ATM error. Now the bank wants her to pay back the $11,600 that never belonged to her in the first place.
People are split on the issue. Some people believe that Ochoa should give the money back because it is the right thing to do, and she took advantage of a flaw in the system. Others argue that the bank should give up the case since it was their machine that made a mistake in the first place.
The bank believes they deserve their lost money back, “The first time the ATM dispensed more money than what was due… Christina and (her mother) 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 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.”
Ochoa’s defense team argues that the woman never received any extra money. Now they’re challenging the bank to prove that she received more money than she had withdrawn from her account. Although the ATM camera should be able to prove that she received $100 bills instead of $5 bills, Christina and her mother Christy say it never happened.
They were making so many withdrawals because they wanted to make a “money cake” for a friend. That required a lot of $5 bills. They had to do multiple transactions to make it happen.
“You can’t type in the number of fixes you want at the ATM, so that’s why we did multiple transactions,” Christy told The Wichita Eagle.
The bank has frozen Ochoa’s assets.
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