What is the name of your state? Alaska
I am in desperate need of some sound legal advice. I placed an ad in a Seattle newpaper to sell my vehicle. As part of the ad the newspaper placed it on their internet classifieds. I was contacted by an invividual who led me to believe he was in the Washington state area and asked to test drive the car. Prior to our weekend appointment he called to cancel saying his business required him to return to Greece but, without boring you with the details he sent me a cashiers check for $50,000. This included the purchase price of the vehicle plus an additional $15,000 for "shipping".
When I received the check via DHL, I immediately took it to the manager of my bank. I showed him the check explained that someone from Greece had purchased the vehicle and would need the title immediately because they wanted to pick it up. I also explained that I needed $15,000 immediately to send the third party shipper.
At this time I had approximately $6,000 in total deposits with the bank in my checking account. The manager directed me to pay off my vehicle loan of $19,000 with the proceeds of this cashiers check and then gave me $15,000 in cash to send Western Union to the shipper. The cashiers check was drawn on Bank of America at a Texas branch.
Seventeen days later, yes seventeen, I was called in to a meeting with the bank managers and the FBI where they wanted all the details of how I came accross this counterfeit cahier's check!
Now the bank is telling me that all the responsibility for this fraud falls with me. They immediately seized all my monies in the bank and frozen all accounts. They are suing me for the $41,000 they are out for the auto loan, the funds I forwarded to the shipper, plus other withdrawals.
We are not wealthy people and cannot absorb this loss. We are looking a possible bankruptcy. I now realize how prevalent this scam is but, had never heard of anything like this previous to this fiasco.
I believe that I acted prudently in this case especially when I personally brought it to the attention of the bank manager. After I explained that I was sending the money overseas, that I needed the cash immediately and was directed to apply this check to pay off my car loan (they sent the title out) that they now had as much knowlege as to the origin of the funds as I did and being in the business, had a fiduciary obligation to protect me as well as other "depositers". I also believe that because I did not have these funds available in my accounts they therefore were accepting this cashiers check as a valid instrument. This whole mess could have been avoided if they would have made a simple phone call to the issuing bank and cross checked the numbers and amounts. The time delay between acceping the check and notifing me that it was fraudulent was also extensive.
Anyone, who has experience with this kind of specific banking laws that could assist me in coming up with a defence in this matter would be a god send.