Somebody accidentally entered an old bank account number for a direct deposit of a tax refund.
The IRS offered no assistance in retrieving the refund! They took the position that they had no accountability. They said they had done exactly as the taxpayer had requested. Taxpayer problem.
The guy with the account number spent the money. He paid off a car loan, a student loan, and foreclosure debt. Sure he also faced criminal prosecution but that did not help the taxpayer. She was left to go after her money herself. When it was all over, the only thing left to attach was the car. There was no way to attach his education or his foreclosed home.
Many tax preparers discourage direct deposits. You can see why. They may be fast but they can apparently be very risky!