Teen convicted of spending $30,000 bank put in his account by mistake

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MADISON COUNTY, GA - A Madison County, Georgia teen who spent the better part of $30,000, which was mistakenly put into his checking account by a bank teller, will serve the next 10 years on probation and has been ordered by a judge to pay the money back.

"The daddy apologized about a dozen times that he was sorry it happened and the boy said he was sorry. That's about all he said," victim Steven Fields said.

Both the victim and the man convicted have the same name and both live in Hull, a small town in Madison County.

They never knew one another even though for a time they lived on the same street.

The 70-year-old deposited more than $30,000 in his checking account after he sold land.

The bank teller, who he has known for years, mistakenly deposited the money into the 18-year-old's account.

"That's the only thing that upset me was that my friend lost her job," the elder Fields said.

CBS46 talked to a woman who the teen refers to as his mother in March of last year.

"I told that woman up at the bank she should have looked over her mistake that she made if she knew there were three people up there with the same name," Stacey Sorrow said, a woman who raised the teen.

"He (teen) was excited. I would have been too," she said, recalling the moment the teen discovered the funds in his account.

The teen spent most of the money on a BMW, among other items.

The elder Fields said he met the teen for the first time in court.

Reporter: "Do feel like he was sincere when he apologized?"

Fields: "I don't know if he was or not. It's like when people say, 'I'm sorry.' I feel like they're sorry they got caught," the victim said.

The teen has since been arrested for possessing illegal drugs.

"They (anyone with a pending sentence) can come back before the judge on that new charge and have a portion their sentence that they already have revoked, which means they would have to serve a portion of that sentence in jail," said Sam Small with the Madison County District Attorney's office.

By: Daniel Wilkerson for CNN

36 comments

  • James Walker

    If you ever get money in your bank account that you are unaware why or how it got there. It’s a good idea to contact the bank and make certain it’s not a mistake.

    • KTH

      Exactly! He was young and stupid and thought that he could get away with it. But didn’t any family members wonder where he got money for a BMW? I’m not blaming the family, but did anyone ask questions?

    • Amit Pahwa

      Banks were responsible for loss of trillions of dollars that brought the 2008 financial crisis. Instead of punishing the bosses of those banks, they were bailed out with tax payer’s money later on. And here, a poor chap is convicted for 10 years for using some part of $30,000… What a human tragedy…

      • ANOTHERBOB

        You’re trying to excuse stealing money that doesn’t belong to you AMIT? Your mother failed when it came to teaching you concepts of honesty and morality. How sad.

    • Macayla

      It was the bank tellers fault. Why should the kid be punished for it? Yeah, the kid should have known it wasn’t his money. Honestly if it had been my bank account I would have spent it.

    • H8bob

      Are you really that concerned that youre going to go through all that effort even though the story is about a bank in Georgia? Keith please, I know you pronably can’t help it. But try to stop being an idiot. I’m surprised you even use a bank since most irrational people like you tend to not trust them.

  • Debra Perkins

    I have had this happen to me…..not anywhere near as much though..and even after I told the bank it was not mine they did nothing for almost 8 months. I never spent the money but what I have always wondered is why did it take 8 months?? They told me they would investigate and not to spend it until they notified me the result of the investigation…told me that was FICA rules, and finally after 8 months it disappeared the same way it appeared.

  • Dave

    Why is the bank entering deposits by name instead of by ACCOUNT NUMBERS???? Sounds like a
    poorly ran bank.

  • W Franklin

    18 years old is an ADULT. Who should KNOW BETTER! Hope he has fun in prison being some guy’s pillowbiting cellie.

  • Mark

    This is a major problem with banks today, I honestly believe the bank should also be charged with criminal charges for not taking the time to make sure they put it in the correct account. That is why I do not have a bank account, can’t trust their dirty actions.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      Perhaps you’d condone putting the poor clerk who made the mistake in prison. My sympathies to a clerk who made a mistake and lost her job over it because a thief took advantage of it.

  • bob

    Sounds right to me: Probation, and restitution.

    It’s a sign of how sick our society is that ANYONE thinks he was entitled to the money. He knew it wasn’t his. The way I was raised, that’s ALL I would need to know. “Not mine? Must be someone else’s.” End of debate.

    • bob

      Even as a little kid when I’d play Monopoly and get the “Bank Error In Your Favor” card I’d think, “How does that help me? It’s not my money.” I actually felt guilty about it.

      Honesty used to be a point of pride with most people, rather than something you practice only when you fear getting caught.

  • Josephyne fleming

    Honest people do not spend money that does not belong to them.
    Why would anyone think this is ok. Everyone makes mistakes, even banks.

  • Deanna Jakubiak

    I think that is crazy. That much money shows up in your account and you just go spend it? You know it was a mistake. It wasn’t yours, so it doesn’t matter who was wrong here. His mom says he was excited about the money. What kind of parent doesn’t make sure he gets to the bank and explain someone’s mistake. They knew it was wrong and hoped they didn’t get caught. Poor parenting in my opinion.

  • miles (dave)

    weather or not this guy has a criminal record is important but if this is about it then i think 10 years probation is a bit much, its not best that he spent the money but trying to pay the money back wont be easy either

  • Bugs Bunny

    he should have kept 10% and lent the other 90% out with interest. Then he should have charged the bank a small monthly fee for allowing them to keep the money in his care. Offering the bank the option to diversify their deposit with varied long term investments would help solidify his holdings over the long term while the interest payments, penalties, and fees would maintain the small transactions in the short term.

    • PHA

      No matter how you look at it, theft is theft. Taking money that you know is not your’s is theft. I think he should have gotten some hard time and not just probation.

  • Amit Pahwa

    Weren’t the banks responsible majorly for the 2008 financial crisis that brought the entire nation to its knees. Later they were bailed by tax payer’s money. Banks are the biggest evil on earth.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      You must have missed the part where your mother explained concepts of decency, honesty and morality to you. There will alway be those who will try to excuse their criminal behavior on someone else.

  • Ljssam

    A sum of $100 K showed up in my account. I knew it wasn’t mine so I called the bank. It’s as simple as that! He should be punished for spending money that isn’t his it’s called stealing!

  • Bryan Hale

    No I don’t think he should be punished because someone else made a mistake. He simply spent money he found. Same as any other person would do had they found $200 in a Walmart parking lot. Now I do agree the moral thing should have been to ask questions since it was done through a Bank, but the Teller is the one who made the mistake, & the Teller should be held liable for THEIR mistake, not the boy who was GIVEN the money.

Comments are closed.