By Ryan Velez
How many people wish they could look at their bank account one day and see a multi-billion sum? One Florida man had just such luck, according to Celebrity Net Worth, but alas, such a wonderful thing was fleeting.
The issue came from Florida-based bank BankUnited, whose error was behind the shocking story. 65-year-old Robert McKinley, the retired former CEO of CardTrack.com, checked his bank statement one day to see that he had a grand total of $9,854,241,363.69, about a third of the bank’s total assets, in his checking account. Perhaps the amusing thing about this is that McKinley wasn’t making big money up until this point. In fact, it was an email about a $35 overdraft fee for a bounced check that alerted him to the error. Before the bank deposited nearly $10 billion into his account, McKinley’s checking account contained about $25.
Like any sane person would do, McKinley took a moment to muse about what he would do with that kind of money. Buying a Lamborghini and the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, paying off the mortgages of his six children, and all the ways he could help humanity with that money, were some of the things that came to mind. However, he quickly came back to reality and reported the error. The bank was shocked, and one would only wonder how long it would have taken them to figure it out if he hadn’t come forward. BankUnited never responded for a comment.
“We conduct billions of transactions on a daily basis that are correct on both sides,” said Doug Johnson, senior vice president for payments and cybersecurity policy at the American Bankers Association when asked about another past banking error story. But “there’s always the potential for human error.” However, for your dreams of running away with the money, he advises against it.
“’Don’t keep it,’ is the firm advice,” Johnson said. “Eventually, the bank will come back to the customer. First, they’ll reverse the transaction but also potentially generate a police report after effective research, meaning the bank will contact the customer … and ask the logical questions: Did they notice that it was inadvertently deposited, why didn’t they alert the bank, why didn’t they return the funds. It creates a whole confluence of events that are not attractive.” One young Georgia man got a 10-year sentence after spending $30,000 that didn’t belong to him.