Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bank Returns Rare $1,000 Bills to Customer

MUNSTER, Ind. (AP) — A woman who deposited two $1,000 bills bearing President Grover Cleveland's face later got a call from bank officials asking her to retrieve the money.

The crisp bills weren't fakes — it turned out they are a rare 1934 currency worth far more than their $1,000 face value.

The bank returned the bills to the woman for ethical reasons because of their considerable value, said Michael Mellon, American Savings Bank's president and chief executive officer.

"We explained it would be to the best interest of everybody if the customer picked up the bills and sold them to get a higher return," he said. "We are a community bank that really looks out for our customers."

John Hodson of Hodson Coins/Jewelry in Munster said the bills are so rare they would bring a low end of $3,500 and a high end of $4,500.

"There is a premium on these $1,000 bills," he said.

The woman, who was not identified for security purposes, arrived at the bank Wednesday morning and stepped to a teller window to make a $2,000 deposit. When bank workers saw the two bills, they weren't sure what to make of them.

"I thought, 'She's going to need more because there is not nearly enough here for $2,000,'" said bank employee Mary Ann Vlasich, who believed the bills were hundreds.

When she looked closer, Vlasich was shocked to see they were $1,000 bills — a large denomination that no one at the bank had seen before.

"I've seen $500s, but thousands, especially in this good of a condition, are just really rare. Everyone wanted to take a look at them," Mellon said.

The customer told Mellon the bills came from a relative a long time ago and she had no idea what possessed her to bring them into the bank Wednesday.

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Information from: The Times, http://nwitimes.com

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