Man sues BofA for "1,784 billion, trillion dollars"

NEW YORK Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:01pm EDT

People walk past a Bank of America branch in New York August 13, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

People walk past a Bank of America branch in New York August 13, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dalton Chiscolm is unhappy about Bank of America's customer service -- really, really unhappy.

Chiscolm in August sued the largest U.S. bank and its board, demanding that "1,784 billion, trillion dollars" be deposited into his account the next day. He also demanded an additional $200,164,000, court papers show.

Attempts to reach Chiscolm were unsuccessful. A Bank of America spokesman declined to comment.

"Incomprehensible," U.S. District Judge Denny Chin said in a brief order released Thursday in Manhattan federal court.

"He seems to be complaining that he placed a series of calls to the bank in New York and received inconsistent information from a 'Spanish womn,'" the judge wrote. "He apparently alleges that checks have been rejected because of incomplete routing numbers."

Chin has experience with big numbers. He's the judge who sentenced Bernard Madoff to a 150-year prison sentence for what the government called a $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

Bank of America Corp faces real legal problems, including New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's threat to sue its chief executive and a judge's embarrassing rejection of a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Yet the money Chiscolm wants could dwarf all the bank's other problems.

It's larger than a sextillion dollars, or a 1 followed by 21 zeros. Chiscolm's request is equivalent 1 followed by 22 digits.

The sum also dwarfs the world's 2008 gross domestic product of $60 trillion, as estimated by the World Bank.

"These are the kind of numbers you deal with only on a cosmic scale," said Sylvain Cappell, New York University's Silver Professor at the Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences. "If he thinks Bank of America has branches on every planet in the cosmos, then it might start to make some sense."

Judge Chin gave Chiscolm until October 23 to better explain the basis for his claims, or else see his complaint dismissed.

(Reporting by Joe Rauch; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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