Detroit Man Ordered to Repay Bank Error

What would you do if you went to withdraw money from your bank account to find you had the ability to withdraw an unlimited amount?

That is everyone dream, right?  Free money. Well this actually happened to a Detroit man, and his dream turned into a nightmare. Fifty-six-year-old, Ronald Page, is a retired autoworker from Flint. In August of 2009, he discovered that he could withdraw an unlimited amount from the ATM at Detroit casinos. Mr. Page was faced with a choice to keep withdrawing money or let Bank of America know. It was not an easy decision for Page because he has a history of struggling with addiction.

Page, who is reported to be in poor health by the Detroit Free Press spent 24-36 hours straight, gambling without sleep. It was compared to giving a junkie crack cocaine when Page was able to withdraw as much as he wanted. The Detroit Free Press quoted Mr. Page as stating:

“I am completely apologetic to Bank of America,” Page told U.S. District Judge Sean Cox before sentencing. “I knew I was wrong. I was sick… But I plan to get well.”

Page spent 14 days at the black jack tables before Bank of America learned of the mistake. During those 14 days, Page withdrew amounts ranging from $51,477 to $514,779. In the end, he had withdrawn $1,543,104.

Prior to Page being sentenced, he lost his home and lost his marriage.  Now he has lost his freedom.  Page pleaded guilty to theft of bank fraud and was sentenced to 15 month in prison. Normally, the sentencing would range from 37-46 months, but due to Bank of America being at fault, Page was sentenced for a shorter term. Page has also been required to pay back the money to Bank of America, however, Page only receives a $2,000 check per month from his General Motors pension.

While Page did win a lot of money, in the end after 14 days of gambling, he lost everything to the casinos. What would you have done? What would it take for you the call the bank? Do you think he should be ordered to pay for the bank’s mistake?