“Finders keepers, loser’s weepers” was perhaps one of the most revered slogans growing up as a kid; it meant we could keep something we found regardless of who the rightful owner was, even if that individual was foolish enough to ask for it back.
It was a time honored tradition in our neighborhood that once those 4-words were uttered you automatically became the rightful owner of that item. Of course there were certain items such as a bicycle or a baseball glove that were off limits, that would without-a-doubt garner the wrath of an irate parent.
Which seems to be the legal jeopardy that Robert Williams and his wife Tiffany currently find themselves in, for taking $120,000 that didn’t rightfully belong to them, and of course generating the wrath of their bank along with law enforcement, who apparently don’t subscribe to that dubious proverb.
The issue began on May 31st when a bank teller at BB&T Bank inadvertently credited the Williams account with the sizeable loot. However rather then notifying the bank, as most would do, the Williams decided to perhaps revert back to when they were kids reciting to themselves “Finders keepers, loser’s weepers,” and with that went on a massive spending spree, withdrawing more than $100,000 from their BB&T bank account.
Both Robert, 36, and his 35-year-old wife, who reside in Montoursville, Pennsylvania blew though the money allegedly paying off bills, putting a down payment on a new Chevrolet SUV, a camper, a car trailer and a race car. The duo also gave over $15,000 to their friends, according to court records.
However the two-and-a-half week spending binge came to an abrupt end when the bank on June 20th contacted Tiffany Williams about the mistake, and to also notify the duo that $107, 416 was taken out of their account, resulting in an overdraft of $107, 416, which they now had to reimburse the bank, or else.
Tiffany promised the bank that she “would speak to her husband and attempt to construct a repayment agreement,” However the duo never got back to the bank with any repayment plan, and that’s where things got really sticky for the Williams.
According the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, the bank notified authorities hoping to compel the duo to resolve the matter before criminal charges were introduced.
The theft becomes local news within the community, as several stunned neighbors chimed in.
“That is kind of shocking, with all the procedures the banks have set up, checking and double-checking and triple-checking, there`s no way anybody gets away with that stuff,” said Nate Weaver.
State police say the couple living at a home on Cypress Street in Montoursville should have immediately contacted the bank when the error was first discovered, worst yet ignored the bank when they called.
Court papers show the couple ignored two two initial phone calls from the bank, plus several additional attempts by bank officials to reach them.
Their apparent refusal to resolve the matter has resulted in felony theft charges against the couple.
When the local media attempted to get a statement from the duo, a man at the Williams home identified himself as the father of Robert Williams.
“I have no idea, I don`t even know what`s going on. I`m just the dad, I have no idea what`s going on, I don`t know what to tell you,” he said.
In separate interviews with investigators in late July, both Robert Williams, 36, and his wife “admitted to knowing the mislaid money did not belong to them, but they spent it anyway.”
The two were arraigned Tuesday before District Judge Gary Whiteman on felony charges of theft and receiving stolen property, and released on $25,000 bail each.
For the record this type of bank fraud carries some stiff penalties and serious jail time.
Moreover, according to bank experts, today’s technology makes it virtually impossible to get away with attempting to keep this amount of money.
Stating that banks have a system in place for this type of theft, “Eventually, the bank will come back to the customer. First they’ll reverse the transaction but also potentially generate a police report after effective research, meaning the bank will contact the customer … and ask the logical questions: Did they notice that it was inadvertently deposited, why didn’t they alert the bank, why didn’t they return the funds. It creates a whole confluence of events that are not attractive.”
According to a recent news report, a teller had mistakenly deposited a check from a client with the same last name into a Georgia teenager’s account; rather then notify the bank the teen decided to spend the $30,000 purchasing a BMW, which earned the young man a 10-year prison sentence.