NEW YORK (MainStreet) A kid in Georgia has stolen a lot of money and won't give it back.
On March 7 the First Citizens Bank in Hull, Georgia made a mistake, depositing $31,000 from a customer named Steven Fields into the account of another customer with the same name. The second Fields is a local 18 year old who, after finding the bank's error, immediately did what any budding sociopath would with a lot of money that wasn't his.
He spent it.
Ten days later the original Steven Fields discovered First Citizens' mistake, by which time the teenager had spent $5,000 on his debit card and withdrew another $20,000 in cash. When the bank asked him to return the money the younger Fields claimed that they were wrong. No mistake had been made. The money, he said, was a direct deposit from his grandmother's estate.
Both claims were lies. In a seemingly gutsy move the teenager even promised to return with proof of his inheritance, which he never did (because he didn't get one). At time of publication Fields has still not returned a dime of the $31,000 he stole, the only appropriate word for walking away with a duffle bag stuffed full of someone else's cash. For his efforts, Gawker has dubbed him a candidate for Hero of the Year.
Which part of this story, exactly, is heroic? The stealing? The lying? Fields's adolescent shopping spree? Perhaps he would earn my sympathy if Fields had run off to the nearest orphanage with his windfall, but a teenager who goes off blowing someone else's money on himself? No.
Unfortunately for Fields, the law takes this position as well. Heroic or not, keeping this money is also illegal.