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Couple must return $120,000 after bank error prompted spending spree

Lonely1

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,026
Robert and Tiffany Williams bought a camper, race car and gave money to friends before the bank realized the error

A Pennsylvania couple who went on a giddy spending spree after a bank accidentally deposited $120,000 into their account are now regretting their spendthrift ways after going to trial on theft charges.

“It probably wasn’t the best thing in the end,” Robert Williams told local station WNEP-TV, explaining that they “took some bad legal advice” on the issue.

The couple then stopped communicating further with the bank and were later arraigned on felony charges of theft and receiving stolen property.

Do agree with their neighbors, ERA?

“I would check in with the bank first before I did anything,” offered Robert Painton, according to local television. “I’m not that dumb but some people do stupid things sometimes.”
 

Pankratous

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,062
...I mean you have to be a complete MORON to spend money that has dropped into your account if you have no idea where it came from.
 

nazgul_hunter

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,237
If this ever happened to me, I would just put it in a high interest rate account, and try to drag my feet as much as possible in giving it back. Not spend it.
 

srsly?

Member
Feb 24, 2018
2,648
"Took bad legal advice", lol.

"What, Your Honor? You mean advice from teh interwebz isn't the same as legal advice? Well, who knew??"
 

Lunchbox-

Member
Nov 2, 2017
3,681
bEast Coast
can you really be charged with theft and a felony when the bank dropped it in your account without any involvement from you?

yes you return it since it’s an error, but a felony? so Bank of America can deposit 5$ in my checking and charge me for a felony?
 

NoMoreTrolls

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,617
Texas
What the fuck haha why did they think they could do that
can you really be charged with theft and a felony when the bank dropped it in your account without any involvement from you?

yes you return it since it’s an error, but a felony? so Bank of America can deposit 5$ in my checking and charge me for a felony?
Nah $5 is just a misdemeanor fam
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,420
I wonder if anyone would ever just have this happen to them, donated it all to charity, then when the bank comes calling go public and hope the backlash forces the bank to just let it slide
 

Dekuman

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,437
If the reverse was true and the bank debited them 120k they would be asking for it back plus damages and it will be all over the media with their crying faces about being bankrupted etc.

So yeah the bank error is not their money .
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,423
When I was 12 my bank accidentally dropped £1,000 into my account - went out and bought an N64 Goldeneye bundle, a hi-fi and a 24 inch TV! My old man had to pay them back once they noticed, and I was grounded for like a month, but didn't much care as I had Goldeneye lol.
 

DeltaRed

Member
Apr 27, 2018
2,797
If I typed an account number wrong or something when doing an online transfer and sent the money to some random person, would it be illegal if they spent it?

My former employer accidentally transferred me 25k once. I didn't spend it.
 

Illusion

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,702
I always tell myself if I received a large amount of money, I'd just buy something super expensive that holds it value like land, go to another Country. Sell it or most of it, then live my content in some other country.

$100k though? Wouldn't touch it. $1 million you could live off that and live a small okayish life.
 

sangreal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,782
there is no such thing as a bank error in your favor

the "bad legal advice" was probably facebook
 
Why not? Do you think you should just be able to use someone else's credit card just because they left it at a restaurant or something? It's not their money
Because the bank fucked up and now are going to ruin these peoples lives. If they can't get back all the money they spent they are fucked, not because they stole money but because the bank made a mistake.
 

Sayre

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
211
can you really be charged with theft and a felony when the bank dropped it in your account without any involvement from you?

yes you return it since it’s an error, but a felony? so Bank of America can deposit 5$ in my checking and charge me for a felony?
The error wasn’t the felony. It was them not returning the money once the error was discovered. If they returned the money it would have been fine.
 

CrazyDude

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,805
When I was 12 my bank accidentally dropped £1,000 into my account - went out and bought an N64 Goldeneye bundle, a hi-fi and a 24 inch TV! My old man had to pay them back once they noticed, and I was grounded for like a month, but didn't much care as I had Goldeneye lol.
Your parents share part of the lame for letting a 12 year old have unfiltered access to a bank acount.
 

snacknuts

The Fallen
Nov 1, 2017
2,628
I got my first bank account when I was about 16 and a couple months later the bank mistakenly put a couple thousand dollars in my account. Even then, when I was young and stupid, I knew I couldn't spend it and I told the bank about it.
I definitely wouldn't spend the money but at the same time I don't think they should have to return it.
lol wut
 

Dishwalla

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
8,953
Boise, Idaho
Because the bank fucked up and now are going to ruin these peoples lives. If they can't get back all the money they spent they are fucked, not because they stole money but because the bank made a mistake.
The bank fucking up does not give them the right to spend 100k that isn’t theirs. The bank fucks up like that you notify them immediately, not go shopping.

Or you take the money and run, to Mexico
 

Josh5890

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
1,602
Let see, a bunch of money accidently drops into my account and if I touch it there is an easy paper trail. Yea I'm calling the bank/authorities.
 

sangreal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,782
Because the bank fucked up and now are going to ruin these peoples lives. If they can't get back all the money they spent they are fucked, not because they stole money but because the bank made a mistake.
the bank made a mistake, and then they stole the money -- by withdrawing and spending it
 

Emergency & I

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,026
They’re totally losing their jobs too. They’ll have no way to pay it back.

Really dumb and illegal. Also, putting it into an interest account is likely going to require you to pay whatever interest is accrued. It also might trigger criminal charges.

1) Speak to a lawyer if needed. Any fees incurred should recompensed by the bank.
2) Contact your respective works and family, make sure nobody has left anything or you got some random bonus.
3) Contact the bank.
 

JDSpades

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,613
On one hand sure, they were dumb for spending the money. But on the other hand, these banks have untold amounts of money and it was their mistake. They have to have multiple systems in place designed to prevent this from happening. If they make a mistake like this, they should be the ones who have to cover it.
 

SilentRob

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,640
Because the bank fucked up and now are going to ruin these peoples lives. If they can't get back all the money they spent they are fucked, not because they stole money but because the bank made a mistake.
Lol, come on. These people ruined their lives, not the bank. The example still holds: If I lose my credit cart, that is my fault. Does that give you an excuse to just take it and empty its funds on a buying spree? No. You still stole that money because you knew it didn't actually belong to you. Or are you going to tell me that couple just didn't notice that they suddenly owned $120.000 more than they did before, just assuming it was theirs all along?
 

Lunchbox-

Member
Nov 2, 2017
3,681
bEast Coast
The error wasn’t the felony. It was them not returning the money once the error was discovered. If they returned the money it would have been fine.
but they are being charged for theft when the bank gave them the money in the first place, they did not take it

returning the money is a different case, but the first part is not the definition of theft. A lawsuit to return the money i can understand
 

Commedieu

Member
Nov 11, 2017
6,298
when i was younger i'd deposit bounced checks into my acct just to get an extra 100 bucks.

But I'd know that id have it covered with the next check.

blowing 120k that isn't yours is not a tough choice. Unless you're a politician. Woka Woka.
 

snacknuts

The Fallen
Nov 1, 2017
2,628
I haven't opened a new bank account in a VERY long time, but I am sure that the paperwork you sign when you open an account says that if any funds are mistakenly deposited into your account, you are legally obligated to return it when the bank discovers the error. I am gobsmacked that people in here think this shouldn't be a crime or that they should be able to keep the money. What if you deposited tens of thousands of dollars into your account and the bank put it in a different account by mistake? Someone should be out $120K because a teller made a keying error or something?
 

Nicktals

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,130
Yeah, "Steal the banks money." is up there when it comes to terrible legal/financial advice.
 

APOEERA

Member
Oct 26, 2017
657
It's BB&T, they are known as total fuckups. From my personal experience, my father sent them a mortgage payment recently that they had no clue where it went but somehow it was received by them. The money was deducted from my father's account but never posted against his mortgage. Even with going to the bank and speaking with the manager, they could never figure it out. When he got his bill later for the next month, it somehow corrected itself.

I would have taken the money out and deposited it somewhere else.
 

ryan13ts

Member
Oct 28, 2017
368
Serious question, is there like a period of time that the bank would have to "claim" their money back before the couple could have kept it? I know there are some lost property laws like that, but was curious if something like that could apply in a situation like this.

Either way though, it was dumb of them to spend it with no hesitation or forethought.
 
Lol, come on. These people ruined their lives, not the bank. The example still holds: If I lose my credit cart, that is my fault. Does that give you an excuse to just take it and empty its funds on a buying spree? No. You still stole that money because you knew it didn't actually belong to you. Or are you going to tell me that couple just didn't notice that they suddenly owned $120.000 more than they did before, just assuming it was theirs all along?
To me the difference is stealing an actual human's hard earned money versus using money that a bank can recoup at will. What they did is wrong, I just don't think they should have their life ruined over this.
 

NoMoreTrolls

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,617
Texas
On one hand sure, they were dumb for spending the money. But on the other hand, these banks have untold amounts of money and it was their mistake. They have to have multiple systems in place designed to prevent this from happening. If they make a mistake like this, they should be the ones who have to cover it.
I'm genuinely nonplussed at people defending the absolutely, absurdly stupid decision to spend money that wasn't theirs. If I left my wallet at an Applebee's and some fuck took it and went on a shopping spree with my debit card, it would be fucking illegal and stupid. This is the same fucking thing. They got access to funds that they knew weren't theirs and their first instinct was to go buy a bunch of stupid shit with it rather than to call the bank or literally any authority whatsoever to determine if they should, you know, return the misplaced property.