Family Trying To Recover Money After Tax Return Mistake

Chase Bank Says Family's Tax Refund Deposited Into Another Person's Account

A Murrieta family is struggling to get their money back after a mistake related to their 2011 tax return.

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"I'm frustrated and I'm upset," said Angela Pritchett.

Pritchett said her family's financial nightmare began soon after she and her husband filed their 2011 tax return in March. Instead of getting federal and state refunds totaling more than $10,000, Pritchett said that money went into someone else's account.

"We went back on the tax paperwork and found out we put the wrong account number," said Pritchett.

She said she and her husband accept responsibility for the mistake, but now they said they are paying for it in a way they never expected.

"The bank is saying it's the IRS's fault, the IRS is saying that it's the bank's fault," said Pritchett.

Pritchett said she notified Chase Bank as soon as she noticed the mistake a few days before the money was scheduled to be deposited.

"I feel like they should have, as me being their customer, put a hold on that money," said Pritchett.

She said the bank told her it needed notification from the IRS, so she said she sent the IRS a form. Pritchett received a letter last month that stated there could be a lengthy investigation "taking up to three months."

Chase would only tell Pritchett that the money was direct-deposited into another active account.

"How can you just take somebody's money like that and not think that it's not going to come back on you at some point in your life? That's disgusting," said Pritchett.

She said with four kids, including a newborn, the family was counting on that money.

Pritchett said her biggest fear is that the money is already gone, "and that nothing will happen to this person."

Chase sent 10News the following statement:

"We are investigating the claim and will be coordinating with the IRS in an effort to help our customer recover their funds."

Pritchett is warning others to double-check their account numbers.

"I just want to try and make it so this doesn't happen to other people," she said.

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