A Georgia teen who spent the better part of $30,000 that was mistakenly put into his checking account will serve the next 10 years on probation and has been ordered by a judge to pay the money back, an Atlanta television station reported Tuesday.
The incident began in March 2014, when a 70-year-old account holder, Steven Fields, deposited more than $30,000 in his checking account after he sold land.
The bank teller, whom Fields had known for years, incorrectly put the money into another account under the same name — that of the teen who was convicted.
The teen soon spent most of the money on a BMW, among other items, WGCL reported.
The two men by the name of Steven Fields live in Hull, a small town in Madison County about 75 miles east of Atlanta. They never knew one another even though for a time they lived on the same street.
They met for the first time in court. The younger man was charged with felony theft, according to the Athens Banner-Herald newspaper.
“The daddy apologized about a dozen times that he was sorry it happened and the boy said he was sorry. That’s about all he said,” said victim Steven Fields.
The only thing that upset the victim was that the teller was forced to retire, the elder Fields said. He called the teller a friend.
The woman who raised the younger Steven Fields told WGCL a year ago that the teller should have corrected her mistake.
“I told that woman up at the bank she should have looked over her mistake that she made if she knew there were three people up there with the same name,” said Stacey Sorrow, a woman who raised the teen.
Sorrow said the younger Steven Fields was “excited” to see his bank account balance balloon.
“I would have been too,” she added, recalling the moment the teen discovered the funds in his account.
The elder Fields said he wasn’t certain if younger Fields’ apology was sincere.
“I don’t know if he was or not. It’s like when people say, ‘I’m sorry.’ I feel like they’re sorry they got caught,” said the victim.
The teen has since been arrested for possessing illegal drugs.
A version of this story was originally published by WGCL in Atlanta and distributed by the CNN Wire.