A bank teller’s careless error made one Athens teenager $31,000 richer, according to a report. The error occurred on March 7, when a man walked into the First Citizens Bank on U.S. Highway 29 in Athens and made a $31,000 deposit. Several customers at the bank have the same name as the man, so the teller mistakenly put the deposit into the wrong account.
On March 17, the customer called the bank to report money missing from his account. Bank officials investigated the customer’s report and discovered the teller’s error. But by that time, the 18-year-old had withdrawn $20,000 from his bank account and spent $5,000 more on purchases made with his ATM card.
When the teen went into the branch to withdraw more money, a teller informed him the money was a mistake and asked him to return the cash. According to a sheriff’s report, the teenager insisted the money was an inheritance from his grandmother’s estate. When sheriff’s deputies went to the teen’s house to question him about the money, he again insisted the money came from his grandmother.
After the deputies explained how much jail time he was facing, the teen told them he would make arrangements with the bank to return the money. But bank officials said the teen never returned to the bank.
Investigator Doug Martin tells the Athens-Banner Herald no charges have been filed yet. Bank officials plan to press charges if the money isn’t returned.