Elderly couple loses $9,000 in ATM


"It breaks my heart. I'm getting too old to get in and out of them," said 76-year-old John Chiappuzzo of Mill Valley.

Climbing in and out of his sports car was getting harder for Chiappuzzo. So he traded it in for a sedan, and received a $9,000 check for his old car.

"Stuck the check in and it took it and then spit it back out at me," said John.

It was now easier to get into his car, but not so easy getting the $9,000 into his bank account. John says he tried to deposit the check into this Bank of America ATM, located inside a grocery store, but the check popped back out.

"I sent it in again and the next thing I see is the check going in like this [getting crumpled up]."I hit every button I could find to try to get it returned, but the check was never returned," said John.

John says there was no receipt, no deposit, and the check was gone. He had only a stub to show for it. He and his wife Elizabeth drove to a nearby BofA branch to get help.

"They said they had nothing to do with it, they're 'not in charge of that, I'll give you a number to call,'" said Elizabeth.

The couple did call, and the bank offered a temporary credit of $9,000 while it researched their case. BofA promised a response within six weeks. But John and Elizabeth wanted to find their $9,000 right away.

"I said, 'Why can't you get somebody to come down now and look at the machine and see if it's there? 'We can't do that. There's a process.' And I said, 'Will I get it back in a month's time?' and she said 'maybe,'" said Elizabeth.

Elizabeth contacted 7 On Your Side and we contacted Bank of America. The bank tells us, weeks later, it still hadn't found the couple's check.

A private vendor services the ATMs located in retail stores, and BofA says the vendor never reported finding the check.

However, BofA did take action. It contacted the car dealer that issued the check-- Cartelligent of Sausalito. Right away the dealer agreed to cancel the missing check, and issue a new one. John and Elizabeth are hugely relieved.

"Well, we really appreciate the work that was done," said John.

"$9,000 it was a big deal for us," said Elizabeth.

It's still a mystery as to what happened to that first check. John says he deposited the second one and this time, it all went through fine.

Our thanks to Bank of America and to Cartelligent for jumping right on this to take care of it.

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