The Legal Beat

Court Filing Moves Company To Return Erroneously Sent Wire Transfer

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Jet 41 of Monsey Said It Got No Satisfaction At Bank; Took A Lawsuit To Retrieve Nearly $20,000


Be careful. Be very careful when you go to the bank to send a wire transfer. Because as one Rockland-based company has learned, a simple mistake can be costly and involve litigation because banks will not necessarily correct the error.

However, filing a lawsuit just may be what it takes.

In a suit filed in Rockland County Supreme Court recently, 138 Design LLC of Monsey, doing business as Jet 41, a private airplane charter company, mistakenly sent $19,500 via wire to Go Aviation, a Saranac Lake aircraft management company.

Jet 41 says in its filing that it intended to send the funds to a different company with a similar name. The suit, which also sues Michael Klein, Go Aviation’s president, says Jet 41 has been unsuccessful in getting its payment returned. The suit also alleges that Klein’s personally responsible for nonpayment of the erroneously sent funds.

Jet 41 made multiple attempts to reach Klein to facilitate the return of the funds via email and texts. Following a phone call, Klein in a text message on Feb. 17 said, “Hello Peter, you say you did what? I am currently in the middle of the Pacific Ocean sailing with very occasional satellite service.” Jet 41 clarifies that he mistakenly wired Klein’s company $19,500. Klein responds that “this sounds like a scam.” In the last text exchange Klein five days later said, “This is a large not welcome pain in my ass,” but according to the suit, he never returned the money.

According to the lawsuit, Jet 41 also attempted unsuccessfully to have his bank reverse the transfer.

Jet 41 in Feb. 2022 received a message from Chase Bank at 250 South Middletown Road in Nanuet from business relationship manager Ryan Travelpiece saying, the bank is unable to return the funds because “the receiving bank is not returning funds” as it was told by Klein’s bank that a solution had been worked out another way to return the money to Jet 41.

According to Chase Bank, a wire transfer can only be stopped or paused for corrections if a cancellation notice is received before the wire is complete, and that in most cases wire transfers are irrevocable.

The suit claims unjust enrichment and conversion of Jet 41’s money and seeks a judgment in the amount of the wire transfer.

In a favorable turn of events, Jet 41’s principal said the company this week received more than half of the funds and expects the issue will be resolved. However companies in a situation like this are generally on the hook to also pay the correct vendor while they wait for the return of their funds, and have to pay legal fees and court costs to recover owed funds.

“It took filing the suit to move him,” he said. “Something woke him up.”

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