Small banking error costs a Valley woman big money

Posted: Updated:

GLENDALE, Ariz. – A Valley woman says a small banking mistake cost her nearly $800.

A check issued from the Arizona State Retirement System was supposed to go into her bank account but a small banking error turned into a big problem.

Valerie Flores is a full-time mom. "I've been a stay-at-home mom for like seven years now," Valerie said. "I have three kids."

Valerie went back to work for a short time for the Phoenix Union High School District but decided she would rather be home with her kids. When she left the school district she filed for retirement, even though it had only accumulated for one year.

"My state retirement came out to like $900 or something like that," Valerie said.

After taxes, the amount came out to about $760. Valerie said she asked Arizona State Retirement System to deposit the funds into her CitiBank account, but the money never came.

The ASRS confirmed they sent the check to CitiBank but CitiBank said they never received it. That's when the blame game started between ASRS and CitiBank.

"That's how the whole whirlwind of calling back and forth," Valerie said. "And no, it's state retirement's fault. No, it's CitiBank's fault."

Turns out, CitiBank did get the $768 but, it wasn't put into Valerie's account; it was deposited into someone else's account.

"CitiBank, they give you an account number and a routing number and that's what we gave to state retirement," Valerie said. "And it ended up being one number wrong."

With one number off, Valerie's retirement money went into a stranger's account. That stranger took the money out and closed the account leaving Valerie without her retirement money and with CitiBank unable to get the money back from that person.

For the past seven months, Valerie has been trying to convince CitiBank to reimburse her the money. "All I did was, you know, made a mistake of one number and after that I've just been laying down and taking it," Valerie said.

CitiBank says they are not to blame because Valerie gave them the wrong account number but Valerie says CitiBank made a mistake by depositing a check into an account with the wrong name.