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.
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. 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.
Her mother, Christy Ochoa, is also named in the suit because the bank argues that she drove her daughter to the ATM multiple times. 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.
Christy Ochoa denied any wrongdoing to the newspaper. 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.
The bank isn’t buying it, however, and kept the money that remained in Ochoa’s checking account after the withdrawals, as well as nearly $700 that was deposited by days 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.
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.”
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.