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State v. Langford

Louisiana Court of Appeal
 467 So.2d 41 (1985)


Langford (defendant) opened an interest-earning checking account (a NOW account) at the Hibernia National Bank in New Orleans, Louisiana, with a deposit of $5,362.21. When the account was processed into the bank’s computer it was mistakenly assigned a code which provided for unlimited overdrafts without charge to Langford. Several months later, the bank learned that the account was overdrawn by $848,879.39, and had been overdrawn a few weeks after it was opened by Langford. Since opening the account, Langford made no additional deposits and had written over 200 checks on the account. Each day, Langford was notified of the overdrafts that had resulted and each month received a statement indicating the negative balance in the account. Computer printouts showing Langford’s overdrawn amount were supposed to be reviewed by a bank manager daily, but were routinely thrown in the trash and never reviewed. The bank immediately demanded payment of the overdraft amount, but Langford was not able to pay and instead, offered to execute a note in the bank’s favor. Langford was convicted of theft and sentenced to serve eight years in prison. Langford appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Schott, J.)

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