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Joined: 04 Aug 2007
Location: Riding the Western Union Trail
Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:52 pm
This story was in this morning's San Jose (California) Mercury News.
This case looked like a "check mule" operation.
Trial date set for San Mateo woman who allegedly fraudulently withdrew
$20,000 to finance wedding
A judge on Tuesday set a jury trial date for a San Mateo woman prosecutors say
fraudulently withdrew $20,000 to finance her wedding but ended up spending the
happy day in county jail.
Prosecutors say Balancier, who runs the Happy Little Hearts day care center in
San Mateo, deposited a U.S. Bank check for $35,000 at a San Mateo Credit Union
branch March 3 and tried to withdraw the money three days later. Bank officials
told her she needed to wait 11 days unless U.S. Bank informed them that the
check was valid, Wagstaffe said.
That same day, the credit union received a fax that appeared to be from U.S.
Bank approving the check.
The check later bounced, and the credit union contacted U.S. Bank employees, who
said the letter was a forgery.
_________________ Accra to Abuja to Lagos
Mr. King - May 2008 to May 2009
A few more
Right now I am getting pissed with your responses
And still you later claimed there are snakes on the road to the Western Union
Please for the sake of humanity help Mr. Felix and I to get this money
r2d2 Master of Master Baiters
Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Location: in a galaxy far far away
Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:09 pm
in the uk the money can be withdrawn 3 working days after the cheque is deposited (i think).
i think the whole process is automated and doesn't rely on faxes.
i am surprised that cheque clearing isn't automated in the usa as well - is the use of a fax unusual?
update: i just read the newspaper article, and it says she spent the withdrawn money on her wedding.
it doesn't mention any payments to mysterious business partners, so maybe she dreamed this up herself and wasn't a cheque mule?
JMRazor Baiting Guru
Joined: 03 Mar 2006
Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:31 pm
The U.S. check clearing system is actually quite efficient and almost never are there faxes and the like "approving" a check. In fact, it's almost a red flag if some bank were to send a fax noting its approval. Think of how many checks are issued on a given bank in a single day -- it can be tens of thousands for a large bank.
Checks are always subject to being denied (although there are certain codes and laws in the U.S. which govern this). 3 working days is just your bank's best guess as to when it will have heard from the issuing bank as to a check's validity. It could take a month. The risk is nearly always on the person cashing the check.
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