A Montoursville couple became "unjustly enriched" after a bank error left them with $120,000 in their account, according to state troopers.
Now Robert and Tiffany Williams, of Montoursville, face felony theft charges after troopers said the couple spent the money.
The Williamses learned they were $120,000 richer June 3 but the couple did not notify BB&T bank the money was not theirs, according to police.
On June 21, the bank notified the couple of the error and told them they were responsible for the return of the cash, according to troopers.
Tiffany Williams told the bank the money was spent and she would have to set up a repayment agreement, but BB&T officials said that was the last they heard from her, according to troopers.
State police investigated and found the couple purchased a camper, a Chevy Traverse, a racecar, paid bills and gave $15,000 to friends who needed the money, troopers said.
The couple was officially charged with felony theft, conspiracy and receiving stolen property on Sept. 3. Both were arraigned before a Montoursville district judge and released on $25,000 unsecured bail.
According to a criminal complaint, the couple told troopers they knew the money was not theirs but they spent it anyway.
Defense attorney Jim Best, of Sunbury, said defending a case like this one would mean proving the money was taken without intent.
Best said spending the money in a week knowing a person didn't have that amount of cash in an account, to begin with, was not a smart idea.
"If a person had millions of dollars in an account and then was notified there was money that didn't belong to them but money was being spent, a person can say they didn't even realize there may have been additional money in an account," he said. "Even if a person didn't have that kind of money and only spent a bit or they still may not have realized and a situation can turn into a civil matter instead of a criminal one."
Defense attorney Edward Olexa, of Hazleton, said theft in the criminal code takes several different forms.
"The citizen can sometimes be confused by the old legal adage, 'possession is nine-tenths of the law,'" Olexa said. "In criminal law, just because something is in your possession doesn't necessarily mean it belongs to you. One form is where property is lost, mistakenly delivered or mislaid."
David Barr, assistant director of the office of public affairs at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), in Washington D.C., said always talk with the bank before making any decisions.
"It is important to review account statements carefully and notify the bank immediately if you see a mistake, regardless if the error is in your favor or the bank's," he said.