After a bank mistakenly deposited $31,000 (€22,540) in his account, a 18-year-old man from Georgia went into an extravagant shopping spree, which unfortunately led to his arrest because he wasn't able to return the entire sum when he was asked to do so.
Steven Fields of Hull, Madison County, had 10 days to spend the money, and it seems that he wasted no time in doing so. Unfortunately for him, he was later told to return the money or face legal action.
Unsurprisingly, most of the money, namely $25,000 (€18,000), was already gone by the time the bank asked Fields to give it back. Authorities say the teenager withdrew $20,000 (€14,500) in cash, and spent another $5,000 (€3,600) on his ATM card. The money was used to make purchases at a car dealership, a fast-food restaurant and various other stores.
According to a police report, Madison County police officers were called to First Citizens Bank in Hull on March 18 due to concerns regarding financial fraud. Kristy Bryant, an employee of the bank, explained that a customer named Steven Fields deposited the high amount of money on March 7, but a teller accidentally entered the sum into another account, belonging to a customer who had the same name.
The mistake came to light when the actual owner of the money complained about his missing funds on March 17. Fields was informed of the serious mistake the next day, when he returned to the bank looking to make another withdrawal.
Authorities say that, when the teen was confronted by the bank regarding the missing funds, he came up with an unexpected story. He allegedly told bank employees that the money was from an inheritance from his grandmother's estate and that it had been direct deposited in his account.
The young man repeated the same story to police officers, who came to his home to question him about the issue, and even promised he would return to the bank with proof of his inheritance, which he never did.
“I informed Mr. Fields that the bank wanted the money back as soon as possible. Mr. Fields stated that he would go to the bank and talk with Mrs. Bryant and try to settle this situation without going to jail,” a police officer stated, according to ABC News.
The bank gave Fields a deadline of March 19 to return the missing funds, but the teenager eventually admitted he couldn't repay the money.
Steven Fields of Hull turned himself in on Friday and faces a felony charge of theft by taking. The law says that a person can be found guilty of theft “regardless of the manner in which the property is taken or appropriated.”