Good news for a slew of Bank of America customers in Houston who received $100 bills instead of $20 bills at a local ATM — they get to keep the cash.
Chaos ensued after news that a branch ATM in northern Harris County spat out a $100 bill when a customer tried to withdraw $20 in cash on Sunday, station Click2Houston reported. The man posted about the incident on social media, prompting a crowd of people to rush to the location in hopes of getting their hands on the extra cash.
Bank of America didn’t say how much free cash customers were able to get away with.
Arguments and even a few fights broke out as customers anxiously awaited their turn at the machine, authorities said. It was almost two hours before a Department of Public Safety trooper alerted the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to the hubbub.
Those still waiting in line quickly fled the area when authorities arrived, after which a sheriff’s deputy stood watch to make sure no one else could use the machine until the glitch was resolved.
“This was an incident at a single ATM in Houston caused when a vendor incorrectly loaded $100 bills in place of $10 bills,” Bank of America said in a statement on Monday. “We have resolved the matter. Customers will be able to keep the additional money dispensed.”
Sgt. Joshua Nowick, Harris County Sheriff’s Office said had the bank demanded the money back, customers who refused could face theft charges.
“There’s no free lunch. If you receive money that you know it is not yours, and you refuse to give it back upon demand, you can, at the discretion of the district attorney, be charged with theft,” said Nowick.
Bank of America customer Arz Mohar told local station KXAN he didn’t think people should be able to take advantage of the issue.
“They should know that the bank will be sending them letters to return the money back so I think they shouldn’t be too happy,” Mohar said at the time.
It’s unclear how many people walked away with $100 bills or how much money was mistakenly dispensed by the machine.