Bank Restores Funds Stolen from Oldest Living Veteran's Account

In this March 23, 2017, file photo, Richard Overton leaves the court after a presentation honoring him as the oldest living American war veteran, in a basketball game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs. (AP
In this March 23, 2017, file photo, Richard Overton leaves the court after a presentation honoring him as the oldest living American war veteran, in a basketball game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs. (AP

Bank of America restored funds to America's oldest living veteran's bank account after a mystery thief stole all of his savings.

Richard Overton's relatives discovered last week that someone had accessed the 112-year-old's account using his social security and personal checking account numbers, The Dallas Morning News reported.

His cousin, Volma Overton Jr., said the family was shocked when the bank said it would credit Overton's account.

"Man, I teared up," he said, according to The Dallas Morning News. "I couldn't believe it. They made it happen. The executive of the company said he'd take care of this, and he took care of it."

Bank of America, Austin police, and federal authorities are investigating the incident.

One of the World War II veteran's cousins was making a deposit into his account when he noticed a series of illicit withdrawals.

"I looked at it -- what the hell are these debits?" Overton's cousin, Volma Overton Jr., told CNN affiliate KXAN.

The thief or thieves used the funds to purchase savings bonds from Treasury Direct, leaving nothing in the account.

"It's a shock, it hurts, it hurts tremendously," Overton Jr. said when he became aware of the theft.

The family hasn't identified the culprit, and hopes it isn't someone close to Overton.

It's unclear how much money was drained from the account. Relatives described it as a "considerable amount."

Overton, an Austin, Texas resident, volunteered for service in 1942, serving as a member of the Army's 188th Aviation Engineer Battalion -- an all-black unit that served on various islands in the Pacific, according to the report.

He was honored by Obama at a Veterans Day ceremony in 2013.

He is also the oldest man in America, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

Overton's family set up a GoFundMe account to help cover the costly, around-the-clock care he requires. The account saw a spike in donations after the theft was reported.

"It's been a true blessing in disguise for us," his cousin said.

"Everything's back just like it was."

This article is written by Megan Cerullo from New York Daily News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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