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Wachovia Bank, N.A. v. Foster Bancshares, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
457 F.3d 619 (2006)


A customer named Choi deposited a check for $133,000 into her account at Foster Bank (Foster) (defendant). The check was drawn on Wachovia Bank (Wachovia) (plaintiff) by MediaEdge and listed Choi as a payee. Choi had not previously deposited large checks with Foster. Foster presented the check to Wachovia, and Wachovia paid Foster the amount of the check and debited MediaEdge’s account. Choi withdrew the money from her account and vanished. The parties later discovered that either the check had been altered to list Choi as the payee, or Choi had forged an entirely new check with identical information that listed Choi as the payee. By that time, Wachovia had destroyed the original check as part of Wachovia’s normal practice. Wachovia sued Foster, seeking a declaratory judgment that Foster would be required to indemnify Wachovia if MediaEdge was successful in a New York lawsuit that MediaEdge had filed against Wachovia. Wachovia’s suit was based on Foster’s presentment warranty, which was provided for under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), that the check had not been altered. The district court granted summary judgment for Wachovia. Foster appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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