I am liable to pay for a fraudulent check that the bank didn’t verify?

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I am liable to pay for a fraudulent check that the bank didn’t verify?

My husband was notified that he had won a prize of $250,000 in a sweepstake in Canada. He received a check for $4,800 ahead to supposedly pay fees but he was asked to deposit it. It was a check from a major bank and we opened a brand new account with the bank to deposit this check. The check had its own header. A few day later he was contacted again by the sweepstakes people to wire most of that money and have the prize delivered to him. He was able to withdraw all the balance from the new account and he did wire it in 3 different transtactions, to 3 different people. Now the check has bounced. 

Asked on January 19, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you are responsible for the fees but that may be the least of your problems here.  What you have been involved with is a scam and you could get in to deep trouble for what is known a passing a fraudulent check because of it.  It was a fake check and be even attempting to cash it you could be charged with a federal offense and sentenced to federal prison.  Your situation is not new: where they have you wire the money once it clears your bank back to them to allow them to wire your prize.  Then their check bounces.  You need to contact the proper authorities on this matter and I would even retain an attorney here for your protection. And ye, you have to repay it.  Good luck.


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