In Business ACH Account Hijacking, Legal Ruling Favors Bank
Tracy Kitten writes on BankInfoSecurity.com:
A magistrate has recommended that a U.S. District Court in Maine deny a motion for a jury trial in an ACH fraud case filed by a commercial customer against its former bank. According to the order [.pdf], which must still be reviewed by the presiding judge, the bank fulfilled its contractual obligations for security and authentication through its requirement for log-in and password credentials.
Now Mark Patterson, president of PATCO Construction Inc., the commercial customer in the case, says he's weighing his legal options. "Things are not always fair, and we have to decide how long we want to fight the fight," Patterson says. "We do feel very strongly about this issue, but how far do we want to go?"
At issue for PATCO is whether banks should be held responsible when commercial accounts, like PATCO's, are drained because of fraudulent ACH and wire transfers approved by the bank. How much security should banks and credit unions reasonably be required to apply to the commercial accounts they manage?
"Obviously, the major issue is the banks are saying this is the depositors' problem," Patterson says, "but the folks that are losing money through ACH fraud don't have enough sophistication to stop this."