Nearly twenty years after he robbed a Vienna-based branch of Erste Bank, Otto Neuman is getting a significant amount of the money he stole returned to him because no one else wants it.
Back in 1993, then-bank manager Otto Neuman was in dire financial straits and decided to rob his own bank. With the help of a few accomplices, Neuman staged a mock bank robbery and took just over $240,000 in cash as well as an unspecified sum in gold coins and bars from the bank's vaults.
He was eventually apprehended and sent to prison for three and a half years, but by then nearly two thirds of the cash had already been spent.
That turned out to be less of a problem than expected for the bank, as it had already been compensated for the initial loss by its insurer. The insurer wasn't hit too hard by the payout as it was able to make up the difference with the gold bars and coins that were recovered, their value having appreciated substantially since the robbery.
The paper money thus remained at the Justice Ministry until Neuman's lawyer Herbert Eichenseder was contacted and told to have his client pick it up. Their explanation? There was "no victim anymore."
"I really didn't believe what the court were telling me, but I checked it and it was correct," he told a local media outlet. "I had to go into the archives in our cellar to find the details of the case as it was already 19 years old - and I managed to track down the man's details and contacted him to tell him the news."
Suffice it to say, Neuman was pleasantly surprised, and happily provided his bank account details so Eichenseder could transfer the funds.
In other words, don't do the crime if you can't wait 19 years to get your ill-gotten gains back.