Claim Over Missing Indian Money Settled

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The strange case of missing Indian money once held by the Bank of India for a family living in the United States has been settled, court records show.
     Zarika Somaya claimed that her father placed $100,000 into a foreign currency nonresident account on her behalf with the Bank of India’s San Francisco branch in 1985. The Indian government encouraged the accounts as a way for people of Indian origin living abroad to send back foreign currency – particularly U.S. dollars and British pounds – to the Royal Bank of India.
     Under the scheme, the accounts lasted five years and did not pay interest after maturity. After that, account holders could either cash out or roll over the proceeds for another five-year term.
     Somaya and her father forgot about the money until 2011 when they asked Bank of India for a payout. After an investigation, the bank told Somaya the account had been cashed out in 1990 but had no idea where the money went or to whom.
     The woman sued for breach of contract and other actions, and U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer earlier this year said the case had to go to trial. Weak evidence on both sides meant a jury would have to decide who they found more credible, the court found.
     The matter was set to go to trial in December but Somaya and Bank of India announced last week that they reached a confidential settlement after a 3.25-hour conference with Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte.
     Breyer dismissed Somaya’s case Monday. He agreed to restore it to the trial calendar, however, if either side failed to deliver on the terms of the settlement.

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