|Bank robber illustration|
An Austrian court ordered to return $66,000 to a bank robber, who held up a bank 19 years ago.
Back in 1993, after getting into financial difficulties, bank manager Otto Neuman stole $195,000 in cash, gold bars and gold coins from the bank in which he was working. Neuman recruited two accomplices to stage a fake robbery at the Erste Bank, in Vienna's Doebling district.
By the time the police caught up with them, they only found $66,000 in cash and gold. The rest of the money was gone.
The gold was given to the insurance company, who had already paid the bank for its losses, but the cash has been sitting in the Austrian Ministry of Justice until now.
Attorney Herbert Eichenseder, who represented Neuman back in 1993, was shocked when he got a call from the court asking him to return the money to the robber. Mr. Eichenseder confirmed that he was recently contacted by court officials and asked to help them return the stolen money to his client.
"I really did not believe what the court was telling me, but I checked and it was correct,” he said.
The bank did not want to take the money since they had already been compensated in full by their insurance company and the insurance company said they had not lost any money either because the gold that they got back has increased in value so much that it covered all the money that they gave to the bank.
Mr. Eichenseder said: "I had to go to the archives in our cellar to find the details of the case, as it was already 19-years-old and I managed to track down the details of the man. I contacted him with the news. To say I was surprised was an understatement. My client provided me details of his bank account and the money has been transferred."