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
Florida Man Tried to Cash $100 Check ... Gets $3.3M
A Bank of America logo is seen outside a bank branch.   (Getty Images)

(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.

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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.)

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