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Man Facing Theft Charges for Spending Bank-Account Windfall

Man Facing Theft Charges for Spending Bank-Account Windfall

Posted - Aug. 2, 2003 at 9:09 p.m.



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Sam Penrod reporting An Ogden man faces charges of theft, after a half million dollars was mistakenly deposited into his bank account.

Police say it wasn't the man's fault the money showed up in his account, but they do say the man should have know better than to spend 230- thousand dollars of it in just a few days.

The man was arrested at this house in Salt Lake City earlier this week, 50- year old James Louis Phillips faces charges of theft for spending the money.

Back on July 1st, a title company in Denver mistakenly posted a real estate transaction to the man's account by transposing two numbers of the bank account.

When the mistake was found, the man's account was frozen, but 230- thousand dollars of the money was already gone.

Sgt. Doug Lucero, Ogden Police Dept.: "I GUESS IT NEVER OCCURED TO HIM, I GUESS THE THOUGHT HE COULD GET AWAY WITH IT AND NOBODY WOULD NOTICE HALF A MILLION DOLLARS MISSING FROM THEIR ACCOUNT OR MAYBE I CAN BLOW IT FAST ENOUGH IT WON'T MATTER, CAUSE HE DID, HE BLEW 230- THOUSAND DOLLARS IN THE FIRST WEEK."

Investigators discovered the man bought three new pick up trucks valued at 116- thousand dollars.

Those vehicles have been seized.

He spent 114- thousand on what the man only could tell investigators was quote "other stuff."

Police say if you ever find money in your account that doesn't belong there, to contact your bank. Unfortunately a banking mistake doesn't mean you've hit the jackpot.

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