Florida Man Tried to Cash $100 Check ... Gets $3.3M

Well, after being mistaken for a robber and having his head kicked by police...

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 16, 2012 11:22 AM CST

(Newser) – It's not every day that you walk into a bank planning to cash a $100 check—and ultimately find yourself $3.3 million richer. That's what happened to Rodolfo Valladares, just not quite that smoothly. Valladares, sporting a Miami Heat hat, walked into a Florida Bank of America in July 2008 to cash said check. A teller mistakenly identified him as a robber who had been hitting area banks—in a Heat cap. She set off the silent alarm, and things went south for Valladares, who was handcuffed by police and kicked in the head, reports the Miami Herald.

This mistake quickly came to light: The robber was in his 60s and 145 pounds; Valladares was 46, weighed in at more than 200, and presented the check and driver's license, not a weapon. And he wasn't wearing the exact same hat. Now, he's getting a little something for his trouble, courtesy of a Miami-Dade jury. They awarded him $3.3 million in damages, having ruled that the bank was negligent in both tripping the alarm and not canceling it when they realized Valladares was a customer, not a criminal. His lawyer says Valladares is plagued by headaches, blurred vision, and PTSD—and notes that "to add insult to injury, they cashed his check after finally telling police officers it was a false alarm." (In other big-bucks news, a man bought a safe for $123 on eBay, and found major cash inside; click for that story.)

A Bank of America logo is seen outside a bank branch.
A Bank of America logo is seen outside a bank branch.   (Getty Images)
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