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Edgerton man becomes temporary billionaire after bank error

Jeff Leskow was richer than Bill Gates for a week in January.

Leskow, who runs an oilfield servicing business out of Edgerton, Alberta, was concerned about his online banking after noticing a sudden influx of funds around January 10, 2017. He originally read the amount as $565 million, but after heading to the local branch of Encompass Credit Union (ECU), he quickly found out he was off by a decimal point.

According to a bank statement supplied by Leskow, funds had been deposited into his account to the tune of $565 billion.

A screenshot of Jeff’s bank statement, showing the deposited funds.

Leskow told 106.1 The Goat that the teller he spoke with at the bank “freaked out” after reading his bank statement, and began asking him what he did for work. The workers at the branch began to try and figure out how the funds ended up in Leskow’s account, telling him that it looked as though it was some kind of loan.

The description of the deposit is “Consumer Loan Application Fee Reversal”.

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“They were pretty embarrassed, very embarrassed,” said Leskow.

“They took my (bank) card right away, we destroyed the card.”

Leskow said the money had been in his account for six days prior to his trip to the Edgerton branch of ECU, and he had been spending money off the amount through normal purchases.

“I technically could have transferred all that money out of country, into a different account, and they would have never got it back,” said Leskow.

“Everybody just went beet red, and that’s the thing they were mortified about, that that was a possibility. That wouldn’t just cripple the credit union, that much money could cripple the country.”

However, he decided to tell the bank after searching out similar stories, which didn’t end well.

“I thought about it for a few nights,” said Leskow.

“Is there any way a guy could have gotten around the legal side of it, and had that money? It’s $565 billion, seven and a half times richer than the richest man in the world.”

He said he didn’t want to be facing fraud charges.

“I’m sure it happens more than guys think,” said Leskow.

“Banks just kind of try to hide it, right? But there are legal ramifications. I didn’t want any kind of fraud charges, so I thought I’d take care of this right now.”

Ann Gertsma, the Vice President of Information Services at Encompass Credit Union, acknowledged that an error had taken place.

“I can acknowledge that an error did occur, and it was discovered and remedied very, very quickly,” said Gertsma.

“There was no adverse impact to the credit union, or to the member’s account, but there’s not a lot more that I could say.”

She declined to comment further.

Leskow said he’s still working to get his accounts back in order, and that while the $565 billion is now gone, he didn’t leave empty handed. When he came in to originally report the error, he received three Boston Pizza vouchers.

“I gave one to the bank teller, for printing off my balance and having a good laugh with me,” said Leskow.

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