Family finds $300,000 deposited to a seldom-used bank account

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

Mary Cascio was surprised a couple of weeks ago to find a $300,000 deposit to a bank account she doesn’t use often.

Cascio, who began teaching third grade at Oak Heights School this fall, saw the deposit on a bank statement, but it wasn’t hers, she said. She called Washington Mutual’s toll-free service number, but she was told to go the local bank, where the deposit was made.

That turned out to be in Houston, Texas, she said. During the process, she was surprised again to be told to talk to a teller rather than a bank manager about the money, and as of Friday they had been unable to get the issue resolved.

“First thing, I thought somebody goofed up on the zeroes,” she said. She had made a deposit to the account earlier this summer. She did a double take and then started working on trying to correct the error.

In the interim, before the problem was fixed on Monday, the Cascios did some theorizing. Among them, they worried the money might have been part of a laundering scheme for drug dealers.

A news reporter, who had contacted Washington Mutual, told Cascio and her husband, Pat, that the bank suggested they call their own branch, she said. Her husband worked on that Monday, and they were able to figure out what happened.

Apparently, the money was being moved into CDs, but the account number had a typographical error in one digit, depositing it to the Cascio account, she said. Intended for CDs, it could have taken six months to a year to even find the error, she said.