Dwelling House Failure: A Story of ACH Fraud

Dwelling House Failure: A Story of ACH Fraud

By Linda McGlasson, August 15, 2009.
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Linda McGlasson

The story is a sad one for this storied savings and loan, which was minority owned. It has a long community service history in Pittsburgh, going back more than 100 years. Dwelling House offered home mortgages and business loans to African Americans in the Hill district of Pittsburgh back when other banks were not making loans to them, says CEO John Haines, who joined the bank in December 2008.

What brought the institution to its demise was fraud -- ACH fraud to be specific. A group of "outside criminals" perpetrated false transactions through ACH, totaling more than $3 million, says Haines in a local television interview. Pittsburgh police and the FBI continue to investigate the crime.

 What brought the institution to its demise was fraud -- ACH fraud to be specific. 

Four local foundations in Pittsburgh, as well as DollarBank of Pittsburgh, rallied around the bank and helped raise more than $1 million earlier this June, just prior to a regulatory deadline to raise capital. But unfortunately that was not enough to keep the bank alive.

The sad part is that the community came to the bank's aid, but it wasn't enough.

Keep Dwelling House's story at the top of the list to show your board of directors the next time you're faced with yet another cut to your information security budget. Its story may save your institution from a similar end.

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