Bank calls man's scam 'nothing more than theft'

By John O'Brien | Apr 12, 2006

CHARLESTON - Marvin Carl Crowder, Jr. allegedly tried to double his fun with his bank account.

Now his bank is trying to make sure the fun is over.

Fifth Third Bank filed a lawsuit April 7 in Kanawha charging Crowder with failing to report funds that were mistakenly credited to his account.

"Just because somebody gives you money that's not rightfully yours, you can't go out and spend it," said Jonathan Mani, attorney for Fifth Third Bank. "If I gave you $1 million and you know you should only get $10, that's not right.

"That's nothing more than theft."

In the complaint, Fifth Third Bank says Crowder opened a checking account on July 21 and listed himself and Source Sales, LLC as the owners.

Fifth Third Bank also claims that Source Sales, LLC, ceased to be an entity on Aug. 18, 2004. It became a West Virginia Corporation after then, making the name "Source Sales, LTD".

"It appears that Mr. Crowder either through oversight or conscious fraud listed the terminated entity - Source Sales LLC - as the owner of the checking account," the complaint says.

The complaint details three incidents in which Crowder made a deposit then requested immediate access to it.

Upon agreement, Fifth Third Bank provided Crowder with a provisional credit amount. When the original deposit was verified, the provisional amount was not taken back out, effectively doubling the original deposit.

Crowder made an extra $15,700 on three deposits in October. By the time the error had been discovered, the money was already gone.

"Mr. Crowder dodged calls and letters and only contacted Fifth Third Bank after the Charlston Police Department were called to investigate the situation," the complaint says.

Fifth Third Bank says Crowder entered into an oral agreement to pay back the amount, which grew to $17,194.53 because of overdraft fees and service charges, via weekly payments.

Crowder paid $700 on Jan. 3 and another $700 on Jan. 17, but the latter payment bounced, Fifth Third Bank says. The bank is seeking the $16,494.53 remainder.

This isn't Crowder's first lawsuit filed against him. In 2005, several customers charged him with taking money for items he never provided and refusing to pay refunds. Eventually, a settlement of $12,437.30 to be spread amongst 200 people was reached.

Judge Paul Zakaib has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-652

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