The Investment Scientist

Archive for May 2019

ON-CM130_bank04_B620_20180330091324.jpgShortly after I sent out the last newsletter, my father-in-law told me that his lost money was credited back to his BOA account. This just shows how powerful my newsletter is!

OK, I was kidding. Here is what really happened.

After BOA denied his claim twice based on the 60-day excuse, even though the police had already identified the fraudster’s bank account at another bank, my father-in-law filed a claim with CFPB and OCC. (Pop quiz: what are they?) He then wrote a long email to Holly O’Neal, Head of Consumer Client Services of BOA in which he admonished and implored the bank:

Bank of America’s lack of ordinary due diligence in detecting fraud and failing to perform its fiduciary duty resulted in my lost retirement funds. It is disappointing, deplorable and shameful that a global company like Bank of America is dismissive and choosing not to investigate this type of crime, and, instead, closed the fraud claim fast, without offering support or common courtesy to a loyal customer. It is an inhumane treatment of a consumer.

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bank.jpgMy father-in-law traveled to Taiwan for a few months. When he came back, he went to Bank of America where he maintains a money market account and a checking account to get some money. To his shock, his money market balance which was over $100k before he left was wiped clean, there was not a single dime left.

It turns out someone had forged his signature in order to create an Electronic Fund Transfer. The forgery is pretty lousy; it does not look like my father-in-law’s signature at all. But that didn’t matter, BOA set up the EFT and proceeded to transfer out all the money, down to the last dime.

He got absolutely no notifications when this was taking place .

You would think that BOA would take responsibility for their oversight. They won’t. They claim that since my father-in-law failed to report the fraudulent transactions within 60 days of their occurrence, they are not responsible for them. Never mind that he was out of the country while his account was being plundered.

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Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC.


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