I have a client who delivered to me a series of transactions and documents in one email.
The first concerned the deposit of a cashier’s check on a bank in Ohio. The second, an email from the agent who sent the check, requesting their commission payment by wire transfer immediately. The agent explained to my client that since the cashier’s check would be available immediately, that there was no problem sending the wire immediately, as well.
This broke our protocols and made me uneasy so I stalled a little. I went to one of my contacts at the client’s bank and asked them to contact the bank in Ohio to determine if there might be any problems with the cashier’s check. My banker got back to me in two hours to advise that the Ohio bank claimed that the check was counterfeit.
If I had sent that wire, the money would have been irretrievable.
The next day I casually asked my banker if we would have been protected if I had waited a week to send the wire. And the shocking answer was that we could have waited a year and the Ohio bank still could have claimed the money back because the check was counterfeit.
So, if you thought that depositing a cashier’s, teller’s or bank check was protection for you, think again.
Howard Lipset, CPA
Progressive Management, Inc.