Lawyer’s Association: Bank of America Enabled Embezzlement

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May 31, 2011; Source: | The Maine Trial Lawyers Association is suing Bank of America for making it easy for an administrative assistant at the association to embezzle $166,000 over a four-year period. Apparently the bank allowed Bettysue Higgins, not a signatory, to establish online banking although she was unauthorized to do so, and to cash 220 forged checks made out to her or to “cash.” The suit charges breach of contract, breach of good faith and negligence. MTLA has already successfully sued Higgins for more than $170,000 but presumably that recompense may be hard to collect so it is now also going after the bank. Bank of America denies it is at fault and blames MTLA. It seems like there is plenty of blame to share – and where was the auditor in all of this? It will be interesting to see where this goes.—Ruth McCambridge