The financial crisis has thrown a spotlight on the banking industry and the wrongdoings of Wall Street. Now a CBS 5 investigation reveals your local bank branch on Main street may also have skeletons in the closet.
It was masked bandits who made off with 86 year old Ralph Hill's money. "I knew something was wrong," he said. But this was no random street crime. It was an inside job, a crime that started when he lost his Wells Fargo ATM card.
The bank sent him a new card, but before he could even use it he got a notice saying: "..that I was overdrawn. I've never been overdrawn in my life," Hill said.
And when Hill got to the bank he recalled, "I went in and discovered my bank account was empty." $8,000 was gone.
When police investigated, who did they arrest? A teller at the bank.
Theft by bank employees? Turns out, it's happening all over the Bay Area. CBS 5 Investigates found half a dozen recent cases where bank employees were charged or convicted for stealing customers' money. But experts say there's another kind of financial abuse that can happen at a bank, where customers, many of them elderly, may be victimized by employees they trust.
That's what Leslie Larsen believes happened to her 77-year-old mother Frances Saimons. "She has been taken advantage of," Larson says.
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Bay Area Bank Thefts Uncovered