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Filing a tax return electronically is a service provided by Brooklyn, New York's Independence Community Bank. The employees all know their customers pretty well. So when Clayton Harris came in, they knew him. He was frequently overdrawn and a bit of a problem account.

They were startled when he filed state and city tax returns claiming he earned over $250 million in 2000 and was owed a $5 million refund! He asked to have the refund sent to his account electronically.

Sure that authorities would find it, the bank was surprised to see the $5 million come in - followed almost immediately by a call from Mr. Harris who wanted $750,000 to buy a Corvette, a luxury car and other property.

He didn't get it - thanks to alert employees - but he managed to get $13,000 before IRS froze the account. He was arraigned in state Supreme Court in Manhattan for grand larceny (stealing $5.476 million from the State of New York), and tax fraud. He could serve up to 25 years.

Loved the Dress, Hated the Lipstick
A mu'umu'u is one of the more comfortable loose dresses introduced by Hawaii, and popular the world over. But when a man wears one, it attracts attention.

This man walked into the City Bank in Waikiki in a white mu`umu`u with pink and green floral design, a white long-sleeved thermal underwear shirt, white scarf around his head, a big hat with a large brim, carrying an over-the-shoulder handbag, and wearing sunglasses and bright pink lipstick!

He said he had a gun, robbed the teller, and made his getaway. Police have not yet located him. Can't imagine - he must be pretty obvious!

Wrong Time To Run
The two police officers were sitting in their marked squad car in Elgin, Illinois, when a fellow came past them, looked at them, and started to run. As he ran, the policemen noticed a handgun tucked in his waistband.

They got out of the car, drew their weapons, and ordered him to stop - which he did. About five minutes later, while they were questioning him, a bank robbery call came over their radio. Talk about prompt response! They already had in hand the handgun, ski mask and the cash he had just stolen from the bank.

Copyright © 2001 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 11, No. 11, 11/01

First published on 11/01/2001

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