B.C. woman tried to keep accidental $5,000 e-transfer | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. woman tried to keep accidental $5,000 e-transfer

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A B.C. woman who refused to pay back $5,000 after it was accidentally e-transferred into her bank account has been ordered to pay it back.

The case involves Rita Lichimo, who in the fall of 2021 clicked on the wrong name while e-transferring $5,000 through her internet banking.

Lichimo had meant to transfer the cash from her business account to her personal account but accidentally sent the cash to Chariece Tosh.

According to an Aug. 3 B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal decision, Lichimo emailed Tosh telling her about her mistake and asking for the money to be returned.

While the cash was deposited into an account 30 minutes after receiving the email notification, Tosh didn't reply to several emails asking for the money back.

According to the decision, Tosh denied receiving the funds and said she didn't use that email.

"I find this submission unpersuasive as they did not say they lost access to the previous email address or that someone else had taken control over it," the Tribunal ruled. "They provided no evidence that someone else accepted the money using the old email address."

Lichimo submitted evidence from her bank that the money had been transferred from her account to Tosh.

Tosh then provided bank statements from her TD account for the month when the money was transferred.

The decision says the e-transfer isn't shown on her bank statement.

However, the Tribunal wasn't satisfied with Tosh's evidence.

"The printout only says what bank accounts the respondent had as of May 2022. It does not say what accounts the respondent held as of the transaction date of September 28, 2021," The Tribunal said. "So, I put little significance on this evidence and do not find it convincing."

The Tribunal found that Lichimo did transfer the $5,000 to Tosh.

READ MORE: B.C. strata ordered to pay back $19,000 worth of mask fines: tribunal

While Tosh denied receiving the cash, she then argued she wouldn't give it back because Lichimo owed her money from a previous tenancy that had ended in 2020.

Tosh then accused Lichimo of acting in a "threatening and discriminatory manner."

However, the Tribunal pointed out that Tosh had not filed a counterclaim for the money and had said she was "not requesting compensation for these actions."

The Tribunal then referenced the law of unjust enrichment.

The Tribunal found the case to be one of unjust enrichment because there is no reason for the enrichment of one party at the expense of the other.

The Tribunal then ordered Tosh to pay back the $5,000, plus an extra $200 in court fees.

The claim follows suit with recent similar cases.

In December 2021 a Kelowna company accidentally e-transferred who they thought was a client but wasn't. The individual that it sent the money to had exactly the same name and almost the same email address and then refused to return the cash.

The Kelowna company took the non-client to the Civil Resolution Tribunal which ordered the individual to pay the money back.

In June a company from Victoria mistakenly e-transferred a woman more than $2,000.

The woman told the company it was their fault and she wasn't obliged to pay the money.

The Vancouver Island business then took her to the Civil Resolution Tribunal which in turn ordered the cash to be handed over.

It also threw out the woman's counterclaim for $3,500 for the emotional distress and psychological harm she'd suffered after the company asked for its money back.

READ MORE: B.C. strata spent $22,000 on lawyers, loses case over inflatable hot tub

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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