Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gh View Post
    all Nigerian prince humor aside, isn't it just basic human nature for many/most that if somebody writes you a cheque you simply deposit and figure it was on the funder to get it right?
    While that is correct for the beginning of the story, the courts (at least here in NZ) do not consider that to be the end of the story. In NZ the receiver of the unintended "gift" is required to return it immediately the error has been identified.

    NZtrackfan will probably recall this story as it was big news at the time. A few years ago a major NZ (Australian owned) bank granted one of their customers an overdraft of $100,000. Unfortunately the bank officer uploading the approval overdraft to the customer's account misplaced the decimal point and he was granted an overdraft of $10,000,000.

    The customer (a recent migrant from China) and his wife (a kiwi girl) using the over draft facility immediately transferred millions ($8,000,000??) to banks in China and then took off to China. It took a couple of years for them to be located. Although there is no extradition treaty between NZ and China, the Chinese authorities "gently persuaded" the newly wealthy young couple to return to NZ.

    In a show of compassion the Courts decided that we the taxpayer will treat them to fully paid accommodation (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for a few years.
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuariki View Post
    NZtrackfan will probably recall this story as it was big news at the time. A few years ago a major NZ (Australian owned) bank granted one of their customers an overdraft of $100,000. Unfortunately the bank officer uploading the approval overdraft to the customer's account misplaced the decimal point and he was granted an overdraft of $10,000,000.
    An overdraft is a loan, not a gift or compensation, so whatever the size of it they're obligated to pay it back.

    Whereas in another situation such as a bonus or scholarship grant or insurance claim that's overpaid, the recipient would have adjusted their expenditures on the expectation that the money is theirs to keep. Unless the overpayments are at absurd levels I think the giver should have to eat it if they didn't quickly notify the recipient of the error (but in reality the law usually obligates the recipient to return it).

    I used to work for a life insurance company that also sold annuities, and they had an annuity product that would give a bonus payout at age 85. They discovered that some of those were too large or too soon, to the extent of a total of hundreds of thousands of dollars. They decided to eat the mistake instead of dealing with the PR nightmare of trying to recoup thousands of dollars each from elderly people and dead people.

    About a couple years ago I read a news story about a teacher who received a raise that made her salary around 2% too large. The government discovered the error a few years later, and decided to "resolve" it by cutting her paycheck by more than half for a couple months, putting her in some financial distress.
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