22

Recently, I sold my house that I've been living in for over 20 years. It was almost all paid off, so I got a huge amount of cash in my account. (About 5x my yearly salary).

I bought a new house, and intended to wire all of these proceeds over to the mortgage company for my new house. Unfortunately, I made a typo with the routing number and sent it to the wrong account. So my mortgage company never got it. I followed up with my bank, but they said there's nothing that can be done, because they just followed the instructions I typed in.

To make matters worse, apparently the account that received it was some hateful white supremisist group. (Not going to mention the name here for obvious reasons). Now if you google my name, the first result is now my name in their list of "platinum level donors". This made me sick to my stomach seeing this.

Is there truly nothing that can be done? Am I stuck having lost my life savings to some hateful group?

4
  • 11
    My recommendation would be to seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible.
    – jwh20
    Oct 18 at 19:53
  • 3
    Where in the world are you? Did you contact them asking you money back? Did you enter a purpose why you were sending money? It should be clear it said nothing about donation but something about a house. Oct 18 at 19:54
  • 8
    Yes, this is Attorney. NOW. Next time you need to wire that kind of money, bring in the paper instruction sheet you got from the lender and hand it to a banker and let them do it. If the bank fat-fingers it, it's on the bank. If the lender gave you the wrong info, it's on the lender. Oct 19 at 4:28
  • 2
    An update would be nice Oct 28 at 19:44
25

You will have to pay for an attorney. Initiate a SWIFT recall.

You've already tried the easy thing - simply asking for it back, and that didn't work. They likely don't have a legal right to keep the money, but you'll need a lawyer for that.

Quote from the article

Although you may not be able to reverse the wire transfer, the recipient does not have a right to keep the money. The bank can track down the account holder and may contact him on your behalf and request he return the funds. However, if the account holder cannot be reached and the funds are no longer available, you may not be able to recover the money. You may have to contact an attorney to discuss options, such as personal lawsuit to retrieve your money.

I'm not a lawyer, but if money magically appears in your account, you're not allowed to keep it. You need to notify the bank, who will notify the police and begin an investigation. The process should be similar here.

Immediately hire a lawyer. Have your lawyer immediately send communications on your behalf that the money isn't theirs. Do whatever your lawyer tells you to do.

EDIT

Like the commenters say - I wouldn't contact the organization directly if you've not already, except if your lawyer advises it. That would tip them off and might make the recovery process more complicated.

4
  • >You've already tried the easy thing - simply asking for it back, and that didn't work. OP did not mention anything about contacting the recipient, only his bank. I would ask for the money back and then hire an attorney if it did not work.
    – Bartors
    Oct 19 at 8:03
  • 3
    @Bartors I would be careful with that approach as it already informs the recipient that you want the money back, which might cause them to also take action. An attorney will be able to better estimate any such risks. Oct 19 at 9:49
  • 1
    @Bartors no, the op should lawyer up and do what they say.
    – eps
    Oct 19 at 13:18
  • OP said "routing number". Though the OP needs to give more info, SWIFT uses BICs or "SWIFT Code", so I doubt it went through SWIFT. Routing number would likely be Fedwire.
    – user71659
    Oct 24 at 1:03

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