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cheque paid into wrong account

(11 Posts)
sirtophamhat Thu 15-Sep-11 11:04:08

My ex brother-in-law paid a cheque for £12000 into his personal account. The cheque was made out in the names of both him and my sister. This money was only discovered when she was gathering financial information for divorce mediation. My sister had no prior knowledge of this money and never saw a penny of it. The bank have admitted that they were wrong to accept the cheque into his account and have said if she were to take the matter further they would repay her half of the money and persue him to recover their losses. This would mean a full investigation from the bank and the police would be involved. Does anyone have experience of this kind of thing? We would like to know what the investigation might involve and what the outcomes might be. The way in which he acquired this money is also in doubt and suspect the bank might try to pass the buck if the money was obtained frauduently. If anyone can offer help with this we would be very greatful. We have tried to get legal advice on this matter but have not found a local solicitor with any experience in this particular subject. Thank you

Peachy Thu 15-Sep-11 18:24:29

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mumofsoontobelawstudent Thu 15-Sep-11 22:06:15

Why would the police be involved?
Is there any evidence that the money was obtained fraudulently? confused

sirtophamhat Thu 15-Sep-11 22:38:22

When we spoke to the bank, they said the police would be involved. I do not know if this was a scare tactic to put us off taking the matter further because until we presented them with a copy of the cheque with the two names on it they were not interested in the matter. They have not been very helpful with this problem and have dragged their feet over everything we have asked them. It took three months just to get copies of past statements and our requests for traces on payments from the joint account have not been answered. They did finally agree that they were wrong to have accepted the cheque into his bank account but did not tell us how to take this forward or what might be involved.
We have no experience of anything like this and I am trying to gather some information about the banks proceedures so that I can argue my sisters case with a bit of confidence.
We are certain the money was obtained frauduently but we do not have the evidence yet. We are working on it!

Gonzo33 Fri 16-Sep-11 13:55:02

When you say the money was obtained fraudulently what do you mean? Is the cheque written from a private persons account or from a business? Has the signature on the cheque been forged by your sisters exh? Why was this cheque written and what was the date on the cheque? What date was the cheque paid in?

IF this cheque was forged by your sisters exh then he could well be charged with fraud and the bank will be compelled to supply all financial information for that account and linked ones at the time. The cheque should have been paid into a joint account, but if this cheque was fraudulently written out and signed by your sisters exh she will probably be relieved because it means she will not be involved as much in the police investigation (they will look at her accounts from that time because she was financially linked to this man).

Currently I suspect you do not know the answers to my questions, and I would not expect you to put them on an open forum if you did. However to ascertain what has happened your sister needs to write a formal complaint letter to the complaints department of the bank. She should send the letter SD and keep a copy for her records. They will then have to investigate why the cheque was paid into a sole account and make good, unless they find that the cheque was fraudulent. Then she will not receive any money and they will go after her exh with the full force of the law.

In relation to investigations they can take some time. The bank I used to work for had an ongoing case for almost 12 months. Although this is rare (it was a particularly complex case involving money laundering in several countries).

sirtophamhat Fri 16-Sep-11 16:38:16

The money is from a remortgage on their jointly owned house. My sister knew nothing about this until she got a copy of the mortgage statement for the mediator. When my ex brother-in-law was asked about this he said he knew nothing about it. This remortgage was arranged in 2007. The building society provided a copy of the cheque which was made out in both of their names and a letter saying that it had to be paid into a joint account. My sister never authorised the bank to pay it into his personal account.

mumofsoontobelawstudent Fri 16-Sep-11 16:45:04

Well, aside from the possible fraud it should be taken into account in the ancillary relief (financial) proceedings. Presumably even though you refer to him as ex they are still married and are going through financial disclosure in order to try to reach an agreement/go to Court for the AR to be dealt with. Courts tend to take a very dimm view of one party acting in that manner, ie spending/wasting/hiding joint assets.

Your sister needs to ensure that her solicitor who is/will be dealing with financial matters is aware of this.

sirtophamhat Sat 17-Sep-11 11:52:22

The divorce is final and the financial settlement is sorted. My sisters solicitor knew all about these things but was only interested in getting her the house and did not want to get into a fight with the ex husbands solicitor. We had very little support from her solicitor. It was decided that we would leave remortgage problem until the house was safe and go and look for someone else to sort it out. However we are unable to find anyone who has experience with this type of matter. All our local solicitors deal with divorce, accident or conveyencing. We are hoping the bank will take charge of the situation as we have no money to start any legal proceedings against the ex husband.

mumofsoontobelawstudent Sat 17-Sep-11 13:31:51

sorry, now I'm even more confused. You said in your OP that your sister only became aware of this cheque when collating financial documentation for divorce mediation. Are you seriously saying that your sisters solicitor was aware of this possible fraud and chose to ignore it? I find it very hard to believe that a final financial settlement would be negotiated with something like this outstanding hmm

sneezecakesmum Sat 17-Sep-11 19:01:41

Sticking only to the matter of a cheque in joint names being paid into one persons account, and presumably being spent by that one person, the bank have admitted they acted wrongly in doing this and offered to repay the money to your sister. Who did what and why etc etc is irrelevant and keep it simple I say. If the bank want to involve the police let them, the ex would have known he was entitled to only half the money so he can repay your sister or the bank, he acted fraudulently (aided and abetted by the bank!) as he knew half the money wasnt his.

It is not up to you to prove fraud, the bank should not have accepted this cheque into an account not held jointly. Write to them very firmly saying you will take it to the financial ombudsman at the FSA, usually puts a rocket up their backsides!

Whether they have enough evidence to prosecute the ex is down to them. In my own experience, my BILs ex partner took his bank card, and the PIN number and activated the PIN, stealing 2.5K from the account. Initially the bank said they would prosecute and repaid him the money, but then backed down because of the previous relationship, and basically said it would be too hard to get a conviction, so she got away with it. Likewise the ex in your sisters case could say she gave her permission, but this should not stop your sister getting her share of this cash.

sirtophamhat Sat 17-Sep-11 23:32:58

Her solicitor knew all the details but thought getting the house mortgage free was the best option. This way he had to pay back the money he had borrowed at no cost to my sister.

Sneezecakesmum; did your brother-in-laws ex not have to prove where the money had gone? We would love to know what my sisters ex did with the money because he never bought or did anything that incurred this sort of expense. Did you brother-in-law get his money back?

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