Detroit Man Gambled Away Over $1.5M After ATM Error


0  Updated at 5:14 am, June 19th, 2012 By: ABC Digital
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Hemera/Thinkstock(DETROIT) — A Detroit man is facing 15 months in prison after he was able to withdraw unlimited cash from his Bank of America account that only held a few dollars.

Ronald Page, 55, took advantage of a bank mistake that placed his account into a “pay all” status, allowing him to withdraw unlimited overdrafts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit said.  And withdraw he allegedly did: From August 1 to 18 in 2009, Page hit ATMs, mostly at casinos and cashiers, for $1,543,104.

Page, a retired worker after 30 years at General Motors, had maintained an average balance of about $100 in his account from Dec. 1, 2008 to May 31, 2009, according to his indictment.

He pled guilty on March 7 to theft of bank funds.  His sentencing will take place on June 27.

Page could not be reached for comment.  His attorney, Richard Morgan, did not immediately return a request for comment.

A spokeswoman for Bank of America provided a statement to ABC News saying, “We can’t provide specifics in regards to Mr. Page’s account as it is proprietary and because his case is still in the courts, we are unable to comment.”

Court papers state that Page was a frequent gambler at casinos in the Detroit area and Las Vegas from January 2009 to February 2010. Between February 2009 and August 2009, his Bank of America account was used primarily for gambling, a court document states, in which he would deposit his winnings and withdraw amounts from $2,000 to $50,000.

On Aug. 1, because of the bank error, Page withdrew $312,000 from ATMs at Greektown Casino in Detroit, then $51,727 the same day from MGM Grand Casino.  But the party came to an end on Aug. 18, when his attempt to withdraw $52,000 from his account at Greektown Casino was denied.  He also went to the Motor City Casino on Aug. 19 and attempted to withdraw $51,400 from his account but was again denied.

Bank of America advised Page on Aug. 21, 2009 that his account was overdrawn by over $1.5 million and demanded immediate repayment.  He has not repaid the bank.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office recommended 15 months in prison for Page and that the court order restitution to Bank of America for the $1,543,104.

They also recommended Page be prohibited from gambling activity, lotteries, or wagering of any kind along with banning him from entering the premises of any gambling casinos, horse tracks, bingo parlors, or dog races or wherever gambling activity is conducted.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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