On Wednesday, Apr. 7, Ft. Smith based JE Systems Inc. received a call from its bank stating that the company needed to move more money into its payroll account, chief executive Melanie Eakel said. Over the course of the previous two days, someone had approved two batches of payroll payments — one for $45,000 and another for $67,000.
“They said ‘You’re overdraft,’ and I told them that was impossible because we didn’t do our payroll…we do it every Thursday, not on Mondays at 2 a.m., which was when this was put through,” Eakel said. “I told them we did not authorize that.”
A few days later, however, the First National Bank of Fort Smith sent JE Systems a letter saying the bank would not be responsible for the loss. First National did not return calls seeking comment.
“They said it was our [Internet] address that was used to process the payments, and our online banking user name and password,” Eakel said. “I feel like the bank should have caught this.