What is my civil/criminal exposure for cashing a bank check that turned out to be counterfeit and now my bank wants me to make good on the funds?

UPDATED: Dec 8, 2011

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What is my civil/criminal exposure for cashing a bank check that turned out to be counterfeit and now my bank wants me to make good on the funds?

Following the cashing of the bank check (not a personal check)I discovered that I was the victim of a scam. I cashed the check in good faith believing that the check was valid. Unfortunately the money ($3600.00) has already been dispersed. My bank now shows my account to be overdrawn that amount and I’m sure will be looking to recoup the money. Did they not have a responsibility to perform due diligence to ensure that the check was valid (it was not one of their bank checks) before cashing?

Asked on December 8, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Connecticut


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you cashed a check that turned out to be counterfeit and now your bank account is now overdrawn, you have to make good to your bank for the funds that you received and pay back the bank for the money it gave you equal to the amount of the check you negotiated.

The rationale is that your recourse would be to go after the person who gave you the bad check for whatever moneys you might be out of pocket concerning the transaction where your received the bad check. Your bank had no duty to make sure the check that you negotiated was good. You have civil exposure but not criminal exposure for making the check good with your bank.

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