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Old 09-11-2019, 12:21 PM
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eschrodinger is offline
Join Date: Jun 2018
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
Sure... But would they know how it left the account? I'm wondering if the account holders could plausibly claim they know nothing about the money, coming in or going out, and whether there's a way to get it out that the bank couldn't prove they were involved in.

There probably isn't a way. But I thought it would be interesting to ask.
I don't know much about international banking, but obviously, if you transferred it out from your end, they would have a record. If you arranged a wire transfer where it is pulled from the account, it seems very unlikely that they would not know where it went. And there could be records of you arranging for the transfer -- phone calls, emails, a Google search for Swiss banks, etc. unless you were exceedingly careful from the start. And, again, not knowing that much about international banking, I'm not sure that a Swiss bank would have the same view of pulling money from an account as it might if you showed up with cash. Accepting a deposit no questions asked may not be a crime. Agreeing to pull money from a US account in a way that is untraceable might subject the 2nd bank to criminal and civil liability of its own.

So, yes it would be a crime for the account holder, I'm guessing it would be traceable or there would at least be enough of a trail to point to the account holder, the 2nd bank might be committing a crime or a tort, and if you lie and say you don't know where the money went you might be committing an additional crime. So, all in all probably a very bad idea.

As for what the legal liability is, it's going to be the crime of theft in most if not all jurisdictions, plus there are civil actions that cover it as well. Think about it this way -- if you park your car in your friend's neighbor's driveway by mistake when you are visiting your friend, does the car become the neighbor's? Other than, perhaps, to move it out of their way (let's say you leave keys in the visor) can they drive it? Could they use it for free to drive for Uber to make money?

The pretty obvious answer to the first 2 questions is no, that would be a crime (and a tort). They can likely have it towed, but can't treat it like it's their property. The third scenario would also be a crime, plus you would probably have additional civil claims based on their using your property to make money.

Anything other than reporting it immediately to the bank and not touching it has high legal risks. Exercising any form of control over it, like transferring it to another account can be a crime and a tort. Even if your intention is to return it promptly when asked to, it may still be a crime, or you might have to rely on being able to convince a jury of your intention, which, again, is pretty risky.