NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – When you play “Monopoly,” one of the best cards is “bank error in your favor.” When it happened in real life, one Manhattan man briefly found out what it felt like to be a multi-millionaire.
“I just started laughing. I mean I really laughed. Clearly this account did not have this much money in it to start the day,” Dan Levene said.
What he saw was an error giving him nearly $90 million in his stock trading account.
“$89.9 million. Available for withdrawal. I guess it was just my day!” the former broker added.
Even though he alerted E-Trade of their mistake, it took them an hour and a half to correct the account.
“In that time you could’ve turned $89 million into a couple hundred, or lost it all,” CBS2’s Steve Overmyer said.
Levene also could have withdrawn the funds, but he made a different decision.
“Clearly I knew it was a mistake, but you have all of these funny ideas. My first instinct was to call a buddy of mine. He’s a big F-1 fan and we talked about going to Monoco, but that was all a pipe dream,” Levene explained.
Just because the error wasn’t your fault doesn’t mean you can keep it. In 2015, a bank error gave an 18-year-old in Georgia an extra $30,000 which he immediately spent on a car.
When the error was discovered and he couldn’t pay it back, he received a 10-year punishment for the incident. Dan’s motivation was to listen to his inner voice.
“Karma’s a good thing. Do the right thing and it’ll probably come back to you down the road,” the broker said.
Levene has the screen shot of the “bank error in your favor,” proof that he was once a multi-millionaire for only 90 minutes.
Even though the honest investor notified E-Trade about the mistake immediately, the financial institution offered him no reward.