Man Arrested After N.Y. Bank Lets Him Withdraw Millions

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

“What’s in a name”?  Ask Benjamin Lovell that question and he’ll be sure to tell you. 

What would you do if you went to the bank, asked them to check your account and they insisted you had $5 million dollars in your account and was told you could withdraw $2 million dollars.  You try to tell the bank that couldn’t be your account but the bank assures you it is the right account and you could withdraw $2 million dollars.  You withdraw the money and then you are arraigned on grand larceny charges?  Should you or the bank be charged with the crime?……flagranny2

NEW YORK —  A man was charged with withdrawing $2 million from an account after a bank confused him with a man who has the same name.

Benjamin Lovell was arraigned Tuesday on grand larceny charges. The 48-year-old salesman said he tried to tell officials at Commerce Bank in December that he did not have a $5 million account. He says he was told it was his and he could withdraw the money.

Prosecutors said the bank — which advertises itself as America’s Most Convenient Bank — confused Lovell with a Benjamin Lovell who works for a property management company.

The lesser-funded Lovell gave away some of the withdrawn money and blew some of it on gifts, but lost much of it on bad investments, prosecutors said.

The district attorney’s office did not immediately have information on his lawyer. Calls left with Commerce Bank on Wednesday were not immediately returned.