Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Weird Facts: Man Returns Mistaken $2M Check

weird facts
SALT LAKE CITY — There are probably a million ways Jerry Mika could spend $2 million dollars. Trouble is, he couldn't cash the check. Expecting a $15 refund from the Utah Department of Commerce, the Draper man opened his mail recently to find a $2,245,342 check.

"I kept trying to find a way to make it legitimate so I could cash it," he said. "I did think about all the things I could do with the money ... who wouldn't?"

Mika returned the check - a mistake that occurred when an employee entered a serial number, not an amount - to state finance offices Wednesday.

"Clearly we have an honest, honest citizen. I wish I could do something more than say thanks," commerce department director Francine Giani said.

Giani said the state will implement additional internal controls to catch such mistakes in the future. A new computer system, which only requires entering the amount of a check once, might have contributed to the problem, she said.

Mika, who runs the nonprofit Providence Foundation to help Nepalese sherpas, said he's had great fun showing off the state's mistake.

"Everybody looked at it, started giggling and asked why I wasn't already in Switzerland," he said.

He admits to being tempted to deposit the money and draw a bit interest before the state asked for its return.

"That money would have gone a long way," he said.

But ultimately honestly and the idea of spending time at the Utah state prison made Mika too nervous to do anything.

Because the check was state-issued, cashing it would probably have been easy, despite the large amount, Giani said.

"It was a valid check," said Rick Beckstead, the state accounting operation manager whose signature is stamped on the check. "But it would have been caught when we did reconciliation and we would have been after him for the refund."

[Via - WRAL]

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odd facts said...

Why don't these kind of things happen to me?

Anonymous said...

the guy is the most honest man i have head about he is so nice his life will be so beatifuly thanks so much Naz