While cashier’s checks generally have 90-day expiration dates, there is theoretically no limit to the amount for which they can be drawn. If a bank account holder has sufficient funds available that can cover the amount of a guaranteed cashier’s check, that check can be drawn in their name and made payable to any third party.
Viva Las Vegas!
Some of the biggest cashier’s checks, both literally and figuratively, are transacted in Las Vegas, Nevada. Be it in the form of a payout by a casino to a big winner of a progressive slots jackpot, or for use to settle an outstanding gambling debt.
One celebrity who has experienced high-profile gambling debt problems is former NBA basketball great Charles Barkley, now a commentator for the TNT cable TV network. In 2008, for example, as part of his ongoing efforts to settle some delinquent Las Vegas debts, Barkley sent a cashier’s check in the amount of $400,000 to Wynn Las Vegas. This is an example of a high dollar amount cashier’s check, made possible by the individual wealth and holdings of the person on whose behalf it was issued.
Technical Amount Limit
A few years ago, a very foolish criminal tried to cash a fraudulent cashier’s check for $360 billion. Part of the reason this was so wrong-headed, beyond the fact that the richest man in the world – Mexican wireless provider entrepreneur Carlos Sim Helu – has no more than $53 billion, has to do with check printing limitations.
The character field limit for a bank check, cashier’s or otherwise, is 12. In other words, the most any cashier’s check could ever be written for is $99,999,999.99, or just under $100 billion. Even so, had the scammer mentioned above tried to do that, he probably still would have elicited a great amount of suspicion. For now, real estate and corporate merger deals are where the largest cashier’s check amounts are usually exchanged.
ESPN.com – “Prosecutor: Barkley Paid $400,000 Debt, Owes $400,000 More”, May 21, 2008, Retrieved February 14, 2011 from http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3405045
RPGTraders.net – “Man Accused of Trying to Cash Check for 360 Billion”, April 5, 2008, Retrieved February 14, 2011 from http://rpgtraders.net/forums/showthread.php?t=477598
Forbes – “The World’s Billionaires”, March 3, 2010, Retrieved February 14, 2011 from http://www.forbes.com/lists/2010/10/billionaires-2010_The-Worlds-Billionaires_Rank.html
BankingQuestions.com – Limit to Amount of Cashier’s Check, Retrieved February 14, 2011 from http://www.bankingquestions.com/checks/2010/q_0108_cclimit.html