Man empties account after bank error results in $90K deposit

Estero, FL - (NBC) - A Florida man is facing felony charges after he frantically tried to disperse more than $87,000 put into his account due to a bank error.

Investigators say Michael Scott, 49, made a $900 deposit at a Bank of America branch on Oct. 24, 2009. The teller mistakenly credited the account in the amount of $90,000.

The bank didn't realize something was wrong until 48 hours later, according to deputies.

They say on Oct. 27, Scott started moving the money, which was put into an account used for his hurricane screening business. Deputies say he took $60,000 out of the account and made out two cashier's checks to himself.

Scott allegedly opened two Suntrust accounts that day, putting $50,000 in one and $10,000 in another.

Investigators say over the next few days he opened more SunTrust accounts and spread the money from the original accounts into the new ones in different amounts over the next week.

The arrest report shows a number of other transactions, including transfers in and out of Bank of America accounts, checks, ATM withdrawals and retail purchases, all made on Oct. 27.

Deputies say on that same day, Scott withdrew $21,500 from the account, splitting that between a $12,500 cashier's check to his ex-wife and a $9,000 cashier's check to his landlord.

Scott's ex-wife, Birgit Baer Scott, told investigators Scott owed her child support money, and she didn't think he stole the money because "Bank of America charges so many fees."

By the time the bank discovered the error, they told deputies they'd lost $87,438.59.

Scott reportedly wouldn't return calls or letters from the bank about the error, so bank officials went to the sheriff's office. He was arrested Monday afternoon on charges of grand theft.

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