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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Robert And Tiffany Williams' Nouveau Riche Nightmare

     Robert and Tiffany Williams of Montoursville, Pennsylvania thought they had $1,121 in their account at the BB&T Bank. Then someone deposited an extra $120,000 into their account. Aware that their bloated bank account had to be some kind of a banking fluke, and that the money was therefore not theirs, they decided to spend it anyway. Perhaps the mistake would go unnoticed. Why rock the boat by calling the bank and pointing out their error?

     And spend it they did. The couple purchased, among other things, a camper, a new SUV and a race car. Being generous with someone else's money, they gave $15,000 to friends in need. During a ten day period, the couple withdrew more than $100,000 from their inflated bank account.

     In June 2019, a call from the bank put an end to the Williams' spending spree. They were informed what they already knew: the large deposit into their account had not been a gift from Heaven but the result of a bank teller's mistake.

     As a result of the banking error, the Robert and Tiffany Williams' account at the BB & T Bank was overdrawn by $107,416. The couple owned the bank that money plus overdraft fees. And the debt had to be paid immediately or the authorities would be notified. Without that kind of money on hand, Tiffany Williams asked the bank if she and her husband could pay back what they owed pursuant to an installment plan.

     Paying back the bank in installments was not an option. Robert and Tiffany Williams had spent money that belonged to someone else and now they had to pay it back in one lump sum or face the possibility of jail.

     In September 2019, Mr. and Mrs. Williams, after confessing they knew at the time they spent the money that it was not theirs, were booked into the county jail on three counts of felony theft. They each posted $25,000 bail and were released.

     The IRS has been known to send large tax refunds to the wrong people. The smart recipients take immediate steps to return the money. The ones that are not so smart treat the mistake as a windfall and end up facing federal charges of theft.

     As they say, if it's too good to be true, it isn't.

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