(CN) – Astoria Federal Savings Bank must pay sanctions for seeking to keep the money of a woman whose assets were wrongfully seized, the New York Appellate Division ruled. Gayle Huerter sued the bank and Bruce Reznick to recover her funds. The defendants sought to retain the funds based on the “mistake of fact” doctrine.
The trial court granted summary judgment to Huerter, and the appellate judges agreed.
“The mistake of fact doctrine is not applicable because the plaintiff made no mistake,” the judges wrote. “Rather, the funds were wrongfully seized from her account.”
The bank and Reznick must pay $32,281 in sanctions and the recovered funds.