Bank Money Stolen

(WSVN) - Most of us have checking or savings accounts, so imagine seeing your money from that account had been stolen and the bank says, “No, a crook didn’t take it, you did.” What do you do? Only one thing in South Florida — bring in Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to do a little work.

William and Alejandra have been married for 15 years…

William Marquez, money stolen: “We have a great relationship.”

They aren’t just husband and wife, they are also best friends.

William Marquez: “We’re gonna go to the Keys and do a little fishing.”

Alejandra Marquez: “Oh, I can’t wait.”

It’s not surprising then that they have joint checking and savings accounts. What’s a surprise is the problem they share…

William Marquez: “I saw three large withdrawals.”

On a single Saturday, someone withdrew $4,000 in cash from the Marquez’s Chase checking account in Cooper City, then went over to a Hollywood Chase branch and withdrew $4,480 from their savings, and then quickly over to the Hollywood Palms branch and got $4,375 from that savings account. William called Chase when he discovered the withdrawls

William Marquez: “Basically they told me not to worry about it. I would probably be reimbursed within the next couple of weeks.”

And William wasn’t worried because he says it was obvious it was fraud. For example, the signatures from the crook didn’t come close to Alejandra’s, and on the checking withdrawal slip, the crook misspelled her name.

William Marquez: “Her name is Alejandra with a ‘J,’ and on one of the withdrawal slips, it’s an ‘X’ and they wrote a ‘J’ over the ‘X.'”

Also, William was told the crook had a photo I.D. and the Marquez’s debit card, except…

Patrick Fraser: “This is the debit card…”

William Marquez: “That they say we used. It’s never been off this paper. It’s still stuck there. We have never used a debit card in our lives.”

The good news — the bank returned the $4,000 stolen from the checking account, but then the Marquez’s got a letter regarding the two withdrawals from their savings account…

William Marquez: “I received a claim denying me on my savings accounts, which were a total of over $8,500.”

That stunned William…

Patrick Fraser: “Why is one theft and the other two not theft?”

William Marquez: “I don’t know the answer to that. All I know is the three withdrawal slips had the exact same signature.”

While that baffles William, the banks letter infuriated him with the line, “because you benefitted from the funds … we will not reimburse your account.”

William Marquez: “What they are trying to say is we took the money out. It’s pretty disgusting. It’s heartbreaking.”

The Marquez’s asked to see the video of the withdrawals to prove it was not Alejandra. They say they were told they needed a court order, meaning more than $8,800 dollars from their savings account is gone.

William Marquez: “I have lost sleep for two months thinking about it, and every time I think about it, I try to think of something else because it makes my blood boil.”

Well Howard, William and Alejandra say their $8,800 was stolen. The bank says, “No, it was not.” Legally, how can you get that money back?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “If you think the bank is wrong and they refuse to return your money, go to court. The bank will then have to prove you got the money, and if they can’t, they have to return you money. Also, file a complaint with the Federal Reserve. If they can’t help you, they will direct you to the correct government agency.”

We contacted Chase and you have to admire their response. They didn’t beat around the bush and were perfectly blunt.

A spokesman wrote, “We made an error in denying the original claim and are sorry for the inconvenience. We have now fully reimbursed our customers.”

William Marquez: “They also said it did look like it was fraud.”

The Marquez’s are relieved that the money they thought was gone is now back in their savings account.

William Marquez: “I am very happy and very thankful for Patrick Fraser and the Help Me Howard show.”

Glad we could help. And Chase being so blunt was nice to see. I have always believed if you make a mistake, admit it. People will appreciate the honesty.

Howard mentioned if you aren’t happy with your bank, file a complaint with the Federal Reserve. The link to do that is under this Help Me Howard story.

Fighting a problem you want to withdraw from? Deposit it with us. You can bank on us checking it out and letting you cash in.

To File Bank Complaints

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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