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In February of this year, a California hospital chain was defrauded of more than $2 million from its accounts held at Wells Fargo.  How was this done and why wasn’t it detected? In this age of Check 21 adoption, how could a large bank be susceptible to something that is seemingly so low-tech?

The answer is simple:  the crooks had access to the signatures of senior officials, who were authorized signers at the hospital chain, and proceeded to fax wire transfer orders with these forged signatures to the bank. They gained access to these signatures through a public information website that posted actual documents with signatures.

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