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Teen Spends $30K Accidentally Put in His Bank Account: Would You?

Posted by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 7:50 AM
  • 7 Replies

Teen Spends $30K Accidentally Put in His Bank Account: Would You?

An 18-year-old boy from Madison County, Georgia, probably felt like the luckiest person on Earth when he woke up one day and discovered he was $30,000 richer—thanks to a mistake made on the part of his bank. He shares the same name as a 70-year-old who had just sold land and deposited the money into his account, or so he thought. The teen is now facing hefty consequences for spending that money on things you'd probably expect a teen to buy.

Steven Fields reportedly ran out and purchased himself a shiny BMW, which we're sure made him the envy of all of his friends, as well as other items. It's uncertain how he was caught, but this may have something to do with it: somewhere along the way he was allegedly arrested for possessing illegal drugs.

The elder Steven Fields—the victim—says he never met the teen and that the young man apologized for spending his money when they met in court, but that it came across to him as if he was just saying "sorry" because he got caught.

Whether he feels remorse or not is anybody's guess, but the teen will be paying for his actions: he has been sentenced to 10 years on probation AND has to pay the older man back every single penny that he stole. And, yes, he STOLE the money because he knew darn well he hadn't lifted a finger to earn a penny of it. The punishment totally fits the crime.

A woman who raised the teen says she remembers the moment he found out the money was in his account and that he was "excited" and she couldn't blame him because she'd be excited, too. Huh?! Well, no kidding. But how didn't the adult here, at any point, stop and think: the good Lord probably doesn't drop cold-hard cash into someone bank account just for being alive. Gee, maybe we should go to the bank and explore how this mistake was made?

So many foolish choices were made here. With hope, the teen will learn a valuable lesson about honesty and integrity as he works to make amends for what he did.

Do you think the judge's consequence is fair or too harsh?

 

Image via Chris Dlugosz/Flickr

 

by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 7:50 AM
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Replies (1-7):
Sydel
by Group Admin on Mar. 13, 2015 at 3:55 PM

I personally would have liked to see him do some jail time. 3,6, or 9 months would have been sufficient with 3-5 years probation. He is old enough to know right from wrong. He knew this was an error. It is his duty to bring it to the attention of the bank.

I knew by 14 that spending money that was not yours was illegal. Doesn't matter if it's bank error. Banks are not infallible. I used to work at one and I've seen tellers made mistakes. I made mistakes nothing this huge but still. It can happen.

I am glad they are "making" him pay the old man back. But I also know that money is gone. And that old man isn't going to see it in a long time. Garnishing the wages of an 18 year old kid isn't going to do too much. I hope they are making him sell that car.

atlmom2
by Susie on Mar. 16, 2015 at 7:57 AM

This adult should have known better.  You need to question it and make sure and doubly sure.  The money fairy just didn't drop that money in your account.  I think he needs jail time.  

Msgme
by Gold Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 8:52 AM

i guess i think the judge's decision was a good one. i'm not sure jail time would be a good  thing.  however i think the bank should have to pay back the man not the kid and the kid pay back the bank.  the bank was responsible for the mistake. i would however tackon lots of community service for the kid. 

katydon
by Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 10:05 AM
The bank should be the one to pay it back. It was their mistake. The teen boy shouldn't have to suffer any consequences. He did not intentionally steal anybody's money. He didn't even know this man. But the fact that it was in his bank account, no matter how it got there, I believe he had the right to spend it. The bank should pay the man back, not this boy. The bank shouldn't have made such a stupid mistake in the first place.
sahlady
by Gold Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 11:00 AM
Wow. That's all I can say wow

Quoting katydon: The bank should be the one to pay it back. It was their mistake. The teen boy shouldn't have to suffer any consequences. He did not intentionally steal anybody's money. He didn't even know this man. But the fact that it was in his bank account, no matter how it got there, I believe he had the right to spend it. The bank should pay the man back, not this boy. The bank shouldn't have made such a stupid mistake in the first place.
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coolmommy2x
by Bronze Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 11:12 AM
I completely agree...

Quoting sahlady: Wow. That's all I can say wow

Quoting katydon: The bank should be the one to pay it back. It was their mistake. The teen boy shouldn't have to suffer any consequences. He did not intentionally steal anybody's money. He didn't even know this man. But the fact that it was in his bank account, no matter how it got there, I believe he had the right to spend it. The bank should pay the man back, not this boy. The bank shouldn't have made such a stupid mistake in the first place.
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Kimmybabe
by Silver Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 9:03 PM

When you open a bank account you sign a contract that sets forth certain conditions that bind you to certain things.

I believe one of those conditions is to inform the bank of balance descrepancies within a certain number of days or you suffer the loss if it occurs. I think it is something like 60 days, which I'm guessing this older man failed to do in a timely manor.

I believe another condition is that you will not spend money in your account that you clearly should know is not your money. The young man clearly knew it was not his money that he was spending and the law calls that stealing.

As for how they caught the young man, The banking industry is able to establish the flow of money from whence it came and to where it ended up so they would be able to establish where the older mans money flowed and ever dollar as it was spent by check or withdrawal from the young man's bank account and his bank may even have video of him removing that money.

Another guess is that the car was taken back, but that he did not use all $30,000 to purchase the BMW, but just enough of a down payment to get it financed, and then blew the remainder of cash on the good life, so most or all of the $30,000 was "gone with the wind" before the judge could save any of it.

Easy come, easy go

This is something like the story on 60 minutes last night with the lady who continued to collect her mothers social security for thirty years after her mothers death in 1984. Something like a mere $168,000 in all was collected wrongfully by this lady.   A few years ago I recall reading a story about a couple who buried there parents, one by one as they died, in the back yard as they died of natural causes and told neighbors the old folks were living with other family members.
Who would have thunk this was illegal???

But lots of people fail to read the bank agreements or understand that the banks courts, and social security have dealt with these types of issues before.







Quoting coolmommy2x: I completely agree...

Quoting sahlady: Wow. That's all I can say wow

Quoting katydon: The bank should be the one to pay it back. It was their mistake. The teen boy shouldn't have to suffer any consequences. He did not intentionally steal anybody's money. He didn't even know this man. But the fact that it was in his bank account, no matter how it got there, I believe he had the right to spend it. The bank should pay the man back, not this boy. The bank shouldn't have made such a stupid mistake in the first place.
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