Bank Error Sends Pa. Man on $70K Spree
There are no free lunches. Money doesn't fall from trees. And sadly, the Bank Fairy doesn't mysteriously deposit cash into random customer accounts.
So one has to wonder what Joseph Bucci, a Trevose, Pa., resident was thinking when he went to a local Wells Fargo Bank in March and found $69,300 in his account-a miraculous increase from the $35.46 he'd had a week earlier.
But instead of bringing the mistake to the teller's attention, Bucci went shopping, purchasing food, clothes, furniture, a used Pontiac, a trip to Orlando, and a golden retriever, Bensalem Police reported. He also allegedly helped family members pay bills.
"I guess he thought he was in elementary school and found a quarter on the ground and said 'Finders keepers, losers weepers,'" said Bensalem Sgt. Andrew Aninsman.
"There was a sense of wow…just look at it for a while," Bucci told CBS News. He added: "I knew it was going to catch up to me… just didn't know it was going to be this bad."
Originally, said Aninsman, the deposit was to be put in escrow for an estate. But a teller typed in the wrong numbers and the funds were transferred into Bucci's account instead. When the recipients noticed their money was missing, they contacted Wells Fargo, who tracked it down and called the police.
"We're working closely with the local police department," said Richelle Messick, a spokesperson for Wells Fargo.
According to Phillyburbs.com, Bucci turned himself in to Bensalem police on Tuesday. He was charged him with theft of property lost and receiving stolen property, both third-degree felonies. He faces a possible seven- to 14-year jail sentence.
He was arraigned before Bensalem District Judge Joseph Falcone, who released him on $25,000 unsecured bail.
Aninsman was amazed by the entire case. "It's like that Bug Bunny episode when Bugs finds a pearl and Daffy Duck grabs it and screams 'Mine! Mine! Mine'!" he said.