Couple spends $120,000 mistakenly deposited in their account — then are arrested

By Aimee Picchi

/ MoneyWatch

Bank mistakenly gives couple $120,000

If you've ever wondered what you would do if a pot of money inexplicably showed up in your bank account, one couple's woes following an unexpected windfall provides a useful lesson: First, contact your bank. Robert and Tiffany Williams of Montoursville, Pennsylvania, in May reportedly received an unexpected deposit of more than $120,000, the result of a BB&T bank teller's mistake, according to a police criminal complaint provided to CBS News by the Pennsylvania State Police.

The money was supposed to have been deposited to an investment firm.

Rather than checking with the bank on the nature of the deposit, the pair allegedly spent more than $100,000 on a number of household items, including a $15,000 down payment on a 2015 Chevy Traverse, two four-wheelers for about $10,000, a $4,500 camper and a race car. They also are said to have spent money on their bills and $15,000 to help friends, the complaint said.

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Once the bank caught the error in June, it withdrew the funds from the Williams' account. That triggered an overdraft, since the couple had already spent most of the money, state police said.

"During the investigation, the Williams admitted they were aware that the money deposited in their account did not belong to them and that they had made numerous purchases with that money," according to a statement from state police.

Before the funds had mistakenly been deposited, the couple had $1,121 in their account, the complaint noted.

Pennsylvania state trooper Aaron Brown wrote in the complaint that Tiffany Williams "told the bank her husband had spent a great portion of the funds and purchased a four-wheeler. She said she would speak to her husband and attempt to construct a repayment agreement." But then the couple allegedly stopped responding to the bank.

The couple was arrested on charges of theft and receiving stolen property. The charges were earlier reported by the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, a Pennsylvania newspaper.

First published on September 9, 2019 / 12:23 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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