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 Check mule finances wedding, bride then goes to jail

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CowboyBuck
Elite Baiter


Joined: 04 Aug 2007
Posts: 1078
Location: Riding the Western Union Trail


PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This story was in this morning's San Jose (California) Mercury News.

This case looked like a "check mule" operation.

Quote:
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.


News article:
http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_12252395

Smile

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r2d2
Master of Master Baiters


Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Posts: 796
Location: in a galaxy far far away


PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

interesting.

in the uk the money can be withdrawn 3 working days after the cheque is deposited (i think).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update: i just read the newspaper article, and it says she spent the withdrawn money on her wedding.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?
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JMRazor
Baiting Guru


Joined: 03 Mar 2006
Posts: 7103
Location: Yes


PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

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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CowboyBuck
Elite Baiter


Joined: 04 Aug 2007
Posts: 1078
Location: Riding the Western Union Trail


PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 1:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

She might not be a "mule" but wrote the bad check herself.

The San Mateo Daily Journal article:
http://www.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?type=lnews&id=109510

_________________
Safari Accra to Abuja to Lagos
Sand Timer Mr. King - May 2008 to May 2009
Closed lad accounts A few more
United States United Nations
Ireland United Kingdom Switzerland Germany Netherlands France Italy Spain Ukraine
South Africa Nigeria Ghana Australia Japan China Malaysia
Argentina Columbia Panama
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
View user's profileSend private message
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