• Austria's news in English

Bank clerk claims €90,000 'fell in river'

Staff reporter · 13 Jun 2014, 11:04

Published: 13 Jun 2014 11:04 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In 2013 the bank clerk was tasked with transporting the money from a savings bank branch in Obertauern to its headquarters in Radstadt.

During the trip, the 46-year-old said he got a flat, and claims that whilst he was fixing his car the money got swept away.

He said that he had put the money in a plastic bag, and then into a banana box which he put in the trunk of his car. He also put a bag containing €670 worth of coins and blank savings books in the trunk. He claimed that when he noticed he had a flat, he had to put the banana box on the ground near to the car, in order to access the spare tyre and jack. He told the judge that he didn’t notice that the fast-flowing Taurach river was nearby.

According to a report in the Salzburger Nachrichten, the judge was incredulous. “You put money worth almost €90,000 near to a flooded stream - did you not think that might be dangerous?”

The bank clerk said that suddenly he noticed that the banana box had gone, but could not explain how it might have fallen into the river. “This is a question that has given me sleepless nights, maybe I knocked the box with the spare tire, maybe the coins shifted, and the box fell down…”

Police, mountain rescuers, and fire fighters searched the river for hours looking for the money but only found €3,500. The prosecution accused the clerk of having thrown in some of the money so that people would believe it had been an accident, and said that he in fact embezzled around €87,000 euros.

The defence pleaded for an acquittal, despite the many contradictions in the accused’s testimony. "There was a chain of unfortunate circumstances. He had no motive, he was not in debt and had no financial obligations,” his lawyer, Helmut Schott, pleaded.

Story continues below…

However, the judge ruled that he could not believe the man’s story. The bank was awarded compensation of €87,000 euros.

Staff reporter (news@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Freedom Party leader may face hate speech charges
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The leader of Austria’s Freedom Party may face charges of “hate speech” for posts made by other users on his Facebook page.

The Local List
Five Austrian films we promise won't make you depressed
Still from the comedy Was hat uns bloß so ruiniert.

With the Viennale film festival opening on Thursday, we thought it’s time to take a look at the best of Austrian cinema.

Clown scares passengers at Vienna’s Praterstern station
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flick

The first “scary clown” has been spotted in Vienna - at the Praterstern train and metro station which is a known hotspot for crime and addicts.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available