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.