A court in Austria deemed it necessary to reward Otto Neuman, former bank robber, now aged 63, for a bank theft he pulled off 19 years ago.
Neuman was working as a bank manager when he led a group in performing an armed heist at the Erste Bank in Vienna's Doebling district. The gang got away with $240,000 (€187,000) in gold bars and gold coins, but only $82,000 (€63,400) were recovered.
According to the Daily Mail
Neuman had served 3 1/2 years in jail after being apprehended by the police. His trial revealed that he had resorted to armed robbery because he was in debt. The rest of the sum was most likely used to settle his financial crisis.
Since then, the money had been sitting at the Austrian Justice Ministry, as no claims had been made for the recovery of the sum. The bank had already benefited from a reimbursement by an insurance company, and was not entitled to ask for the money back.
The insurance provider had already had the sum they refunded paid out, as they had legal rights to the gold that was stolen. However, the value of the gold bars increased over time, writing off the compensatory fee they had paid the bank, years ago.
The court asked Neuman's attorney at the time, Herbert Eichenseder, for his client's contact information, so that they can hand over the money to him.
Eichenseder had trouble even remembering the case, but, as he went through his archives, was able to recover the man's contact details.
“I really didn't believe what the court were telling me but I checked it and it was correct.
“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.
“To say that he was surprised was an understatement, but he provided his bank account details and the money has now been transferred,” he said.