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Ga. teen jailed after bank's mistake not returned

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 2:03 PM
Last updated 11:19 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

An Athens area teen bought a convertible BMW, clothing and food with money mistakenly put in his bank account in early March, but law enforcement authorities say he also bought himself some trouble by spending the money.

Steven Fields, 18, of Hull, Ga., is charged with felony theft, Madison County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Shawn Burns said.

Fields turned himself in on the warrant Friday and was released five hours later on a $3,400 bond.

A banker at First Citizens Bank in Hull placed $31,000 into Fields bank account on March 7, but the money should have gone into the account of another man named Steven Fields, according to a sheriff’s report.

Fields then withdrew $20,000 cash and spent another $5,000 with his ATM card, deputies said. When he returned to the bank on March 18 wanting to withdraw more cash, he was informed of the mistake and was asked to return the money, an investigator said.

But Fields insisted to the bank and a sheriff’s investigator he thought the money was from an inheritance. He later changed his story, according to Burns.

“He eventually admitted the money wasn’t his, but he couldn’t pay it back,” Burns said.

The unusual case attracted media attention.

The sheriff’s office has fielded numerous calls about the case from media across the country, including ABC News and others, Burns said.

Investigator Doug Martin took out the felony warrant when Fields did not return the money. Bank officials had told the investigator they wanted to prosecute if Fields didn’t return the money by March 19.

The BMW cannot be seized as part of the investigation, Burns said.

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internationallyunknown
5073
Points
internationallyunknown 04/01/14 - 02:33 pm
2
0
"The BMW cannot be seized as

"The BMW cannot be seized as part of the investigation."

Red Headed Step Child
4496
Points
Red Headed Step Child 04/01/14 - 03:34 pm
6
0
Hope that little spending

Hope that little spending spree was worth it. My gut told me the "inheritance" story was just that - a story.

foxsilong
917
Points
foxsilong 04/01/14 - 03:33 pm
4
0
Just like I said

People make mistakes and that is why we have auditors and reconciliation.

Bankers make mistakes, in fact a lot of other companies do as well. You can't keep things that aren't yours. That is why there are laws protecting this problem. A mistake IS a mistake. You will hear a lot of apologies about the mistake, but it HAS to be fixed.

corgimom
38773
Points
corgimom 04/01/14 - 03:35 pm
6
6
He's not going to get any

He's not going to get any punishment for this.

internationallyunknown
5073
Points
internationallyunknown 04/01/14 - 04:24 pm
4
1
^

I agree.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 04/01/14 - 05:53 pm
1
0
He seems
Unpublished

to represent the "entitlement culture" that has been promulgated by the obama regime and left-wing democratic party.

itsanotherday1
48420
Points
itsanotherday1 04/01/14 - 07:13 pm
6
0
I hope he gets a slap upside

I hope he gets a slap upside the head, not just on the wrist.

Dixieman
17606
Points
Dixieman 04/01/14 - 08:18 pm
7
2
Come on, now

I don't care if he IS a teenager -- no one should believe they could actually keep this money. He needs a stiff sentence and to be compelled to pay back every penny, with interest.

Navy Gary
1615
Points
Navy Gary 04/01/14 - 08:31 pm
5
1
This is just a ruse..

This is just a ruse to deter others from doing the same thing if a "mistake" ends up in their account. The charges will be dropped and he'll walk. The bank has no recourse for the money already spent.

dichotomy
37651
Points
dichotomy 04/01/14 - 09:03 pm
5
2
"The BMW cannot be seized as

"The BMW cannot be seized as part of the investigation."

That's even better than the Columbia County politicians rules for stealing. This kid does not even have to return HALF of the BMW and he will probably get a free pass too.

Riverman1
94333
Points
Riverman1 04/01/14 - 09:33 pm
7
3
Bank Error In Your Favor

In Monopoly when you draw bank error from Community Chest you get to keep the money. The kid should sue the bank and buy some hotels for Boardwalk and Park Place.

KSL
144785
Points
KSL 04/01/14 - 10:36 pm
5
2
Who brought up this 18 year old?

Parents of the year they are not.

KSL
144785
Points
KSL 04/01/14 - 10:40 pm
5
2
Where is the concern for rhe

Where is the concern for rhe correct individual who did not get his money?

Red Headed Step Child
4496
Points
Red Headed Step Child 04/02/14 - 07:59 am
3
0
@KSL

The correct customer would have been made whole - once the error was found, the bank provided him with proper credit. He's not out any money...

djkillaran
89
Points
djkillaran 04/02/14 - 11:14 am
3
0
Who is at fault?

He was stupid to spend the cash that wasn't his. Actually this story is kind of a scary situation because how could the bank not verify the customer account information first when moving that type on money into someone's account. The account number, street address, SS# would all have to be verified first. Only a banking manager can approve this type of transaction. I wonder if the bank manager was fired over this mistake? If I was Steven Fields (not the 18 year old) I would never bank at First Citizens Bank again.

KSL
144785
Points
KSL 04/02/14 - 11:17 am
0
2
I know that, but he had to go

I know that, but he had to go through a hassle. At the very least, he was inconvenienced, red.

nocnoc
49715
Points
nocnoc 04/02/14 - 11:27 am
0
0
Told y'all

He would be arrested,
the list is only starting:

Add making false statement to police.
Add felony theft
Add whatever the Bank and the DA dream up.

The only possible save for the guy, would have been the Bank not wanting to go public, and we know that is not the case.

Some pictures
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/teen-spent-31k-mistakenly-depos...

☺Maybe his Lawyer will use the Monopoly game defense
A Get out of Jail card.☺

Red Headed Step Child
4496
Points
Red Headed Step Child 04/02/14 - 12:50 pm
0
0
@ksl

You have a good point - hopefully the bank was expedient in correcting the issue once it was brought to their attention and the customer didn't experience too much of a hassle.

Marinerman1
5499
Points
Marinerman1 04/02/14 - 12:57 pm
2
0
What I Said Earlier Still Stands

<> If he had only not bought the car, he probably would be okay. And yes, the correct depositor was made whole by the bank, once they realized their mistake. If the kid had only spent the $5K, the bank would've probably just made him take out a loan. Now he's dealing with multiple felonies = NOT GOOD.

TrulyWorried
16709
Points
TrulyWorried 04/02/14 - 05:06 pm
2
0
Bank error

Where in the world were the parents in this whole scenario??? He bought a BMW and nobody asked how? And now we will see what will take place.

Bizkit
35764
Points
Bizkit 04/03/14 - 08:44 am
0
0
I have a friend who has a

I have a friend who has a prison ministry-I'll ask him to look this fella up when he gets there. I also predict a cameo on the World's Dumbest Criminal show. He should have known that because it wasn't his money there would be repercussions.

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