Unexpected Cash Comes Your Way – Keep it or Not?

This article was originally published on our sister site Fiveo

Most of us don’t really check out online banking that often. If we’ve made a payment, we’ll double-check it’s gone through okay, and if we’re due to be paid, we’re normally checking a few times until it goes in. Other than that, we don’t tend to pay too much attention. This is because most of us know how much cash is in our account at any given time.

Photo By Getty Images/ Luis Alvarez

If you’re a regular person and you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you wouldn’t expect a large amount of cash to be deposited in your bank account out of the blue, right? If that did happen, what would you do? Would you panic and wonder if you’d calculated something wrong? Would you contact the bank and find out what was going on? Or, would you keep it and have a nice little spending spree? Let’s see what this couple did when their bank account suddenly leaped up in value.

And so our Story Begins

The Williams family from Pennsylvania are a regular family. They work hard, pay their bills, and enjoy motorsports. Robert and Tiffany woke up one morning to find their life was about to change.

Source: go.com

Their love for motorsports led them to create a social media page dedicated to their passion. This page has many photographs of them both posing with various cars, none of which are theirs, but they enjoy showing them off regardless.

Just a Regular Couple

Just like most of us, the Williams live paycheck to paycheck. Their money goes in, bills are paid, the money disappears by the end of the month, and they wait for their next paycheck to land. It’s not ideal, but it’s something that most families face.

Source: Reddit

When it comes to money, a diligent couple often checks their bank accounts to ensure that the right amounts are going out and nothing untoward is happening. During one of these checks, they discovered a large amount of cash in their account, something they couldn’t explain.

Money Doubling Before Their Eyes

When the Williams’ first discovered the money, it was just over $1000, but after a short while, it multiplied to $120,000. There was no solid explanation for where this money had come from, and they knew it must be down to a banking error.

Photo By Getty Images/ John Lamb

The couple were shocked and unsure what to do as they looked at the amount on the screen. They didn’t know whether to call the bank or double-check it again in a few hours to see if it would right itself. The confusion led them towards an unconventional path.

See It, Claim It

The couple couldn’t believe that the bank would make such a huge mistake and part of them wondered whether this was an opportunity that was meant to be theirs. Rather than calling the bank, they decided to claim the cash.

Photo By Getty Images/ 10’000 Hours

Of course, banks do sometimes make mistakes, and that doesn’t mean that the cash is suddenly yours to keep. Upon claiming the cash, they couldn’t foresee the issues that were about to rise in the near future.

A 16 Day Spending Spree

Intent on keeping the cash and enjoying this sudden windfall, the Williams’ decided to spend it all and enjoy themselves. That’s exactly what they did in just a 16-day window. Did the bank flag it up? No.

Source: Reddit

Normally, when a large number of purchases are leaving a person’s account within a short amount of time, the bank will contact you to verify that there is no foul play going on. However, the Williams’ luck hadn’t yet run out.

A Real Passion for Cars

With a passion for cars and a sudden cash windfall, the first thing that Mr. Williams did was spend some of the money on a fancy car for himself. However, one wasn’t enough, and they visited several car dealerships with their surprise cash.

Source: Twitter

As time quickly wore on, much of the cash that found itself in the Williams’ bank account was being spent on cars, and they snapped picture after picture to show off their new purchases.

Owning the Best of the Best

Owning a race car doesn’t happen easily, and it often takes time. However, luck was still on their side as they managed to purchase three top cars, including an SUV, to add to their new and growing collection.

Source: Imgur

With money still to spare, the couple decided to repair some of the cars they already had, and despite all the spending, they still had some cash left to spend. They loved every second of their impromptu, motor-themed spending spree.

We Want to go Travelling!

With money to spare, the couple decided to buy an RV and an additional car trailer so they could head off and see the country as another treat from their unexpected windfall. Still, nobody raised an eyebrow at their extreme spending.

Source: Reddit

The money they suddenly received began to dwindle, but they were enjoying their slice of good luck to the max. However, little did they know that a bump in the road was just around the corner.

Sharing Their Good Fortune

Despite the fact that much of their surprise wealth was being spent on four wheels and associated motor items, the couple did manage to help out some of their nearest and dearest and pay off some of their own bills.

Photo By Getty Images/ enter89

You would think that those who the couple helped would at least question a little where the cash had come from, especially as the couple hadn’t had a lot of money, to begin with. However, nobody even thought to ask.

Keeping Everything Quiet

Despite their sudden wealth and all the fun that goes along with spending money, the couple carried on with their regular lives and didn’t mention to anyone about their new wealth. Even Mr. Williams’ father had no clue that his son had found himself suddenly rich.

Source: Facebook

However, there’s no denying that they might have kept it quiet, but many of their purchases were on the irresponsible side. Money doesn’t last forever, and this amount was sure to dwindle very soon.

Even Banks Make Mistakes

Later down the line, the local news decided to look into the story and interviewed the Williams’ neighbors. Their neighbor was in a state of shock that a large bank could make such a mistake, especially with all the verification and double-checking that should be taking place.

Source: Twitter

The Williams assumed that their quick purchases meant that nobody would be any the wiser about the money and that they had got away with it all. However, the bank soon started to question the money deposit and started to chase.

Where is our Money?

Soon enough, the company for who the money deposit was meant to be for started to question its whereabouts. The bank quickly realized where the cash had gone and froze the Williams’ money. They recredited the original recipients with the full $120,000.

Source: Reddit

In order to right the original mistake, the bank had to charge the Williams a huge overdraft fee, to the sum of $107,000. Despite the fact that they knew they should have questioned the money originally, the Williams refused to give back their expensively purchased cars.

A Bank Never Gives Up

The bank chased the Williams and tried to get into contact, but to no avail. They were starting to assume that they had no intention of paying the money back. With constant pressure, however, the bank eventually tracked down Mrs. Williams and made contact with her.

Photo By Getty Images/ d3sign

During the call, Mrs. Williams said she would talk to her husband about creating a plan to pay back the money and get back to the bank to talk it through. However, she never called them back.

Karma Always Catches Up With You

It became clear that the Williams never intended to pay the money back and never even considered contacting the bank at the start. Their neighbors were shocked at what had happened, as most people would have contacted the bank initially.

Source: wnep.com

When a bank makes a mistake, it is theirs to fix initially, but taking money that isn’t yours means the issue goes further. By that point, it’s not only the bank’s problem, and further consequences were just around the corner.

A Simple Error With Huge Consequences

Upon discovering why the money was paid into the Williams’ account and not the originally intended company’s, it turns out that the teller in a bank in Georgia simply typed in one digit incorrectly on the account number.

Photo By Getty Images/ SolStock

Rather than noticing the error quickly, the bank, unfortunately, took longer to fix the problem. Their issue was that the money had fallen into the wrong and irresponsible hands. Had the money gone to someone else, they would probably have flagged the issue immediately.

Trying to Fix the Problem and Failing

With credit to the bank, they tried to reach out to the Williams’ on several occasions to fix a payment plan and allow them to pay back the money that wasn’t theirs without involving the police. However, their attempts to contact the Williams’ went unanswered.

Photo By Getty Images/ adamkaz

The bank eventually filed a criminal report with the police, and the charges came with a possible and hefty ten years in prison for both of the Williams’. Suddenly, those cars must have seen far less important than a few weeks beforehand.

The Charges Were Made

After investigating the issue, the police concluded that both Mr. and Mrs. Williams were complicit in the charges. They were both arrests for theft, as well as receiving a property that was stolen. They were also found to be fully aware of what they had done jointly.

Source: Reddit

Nobody else in their circle of friends or the family knew anything about the money or the charges, and the couple decided to try and keep things equally as quiet and pay the money back as quickly as possible.

Get Us Out of Here

Despite the charges, the couple wanted to be bailed and somehow managed to find the $25,000 each bail cash. Nobody knows how they found this money, but they were both bailed and refused to speak at the hearing.

Source: Imgur

As it turns out, Mr. Williams had a history of financial misdemeanors in the past, and this was about to come out and support the bank’s case against the couple. By this time, everything was looking pretty bad for the Williams’.

It Wasn’t His First Time

When a police investigation is going on, they look into your history and your criminal record. Mr. Williams’ history came back to bite him as it was discovered that he had written a bad check a few years previously and was charged. As a result, he had to pay the cashback.

Source: Twitter

Having a previous charge along the same financial lines did nothing to strengthen Mr. Williams’ case, and things were starting to look very bad for the couple indeed. He clearly hadn’t learned his lesson the first time around and had implicated his wife this time, although nobody can say that she acted unwillingly.

Looking to Make a Plea

As of yet, a plea bargain is yet to be made, and the couple are still working through the charges and trying to work out how to improve a situation that looks so dire. Will they have learned their lesson this time? We can only hope so.

Source: ieanea.org

Will the couple end up with prison time, or will the judge be lenient? Time will tell, but this only goes to show that when a large amount of cash appears in your bank account that’s not yours, spending it willingly is not the answer.

Let’s look at another story involving cash ending up in the wrong hands.

Never Appreciated For Their Hard Work

Waiters often rely upon tips to top up their salary and allow them to live a better life. However, some customers don’t tip nearly enough compared to the standard of service they received from the waiter.

Source: Daily-mail.co.uk

Armando is a waiter who found himself in a strange situation. His reaction may just help you to realize that there are good people out there, even if sometimes it’s hard to trust in the good side of human beings.

Bill Paid, No Tip

Armando returned to the table he was assigned to serve to find that the lady had left, but she had paid the bill just prior to leaving. However, to his dismay, he found that she hadn’t tipped him for the service at all.

Source: Reddit

She had, however, left a note for Armando that was less than complimentary. Trying not to let it get to him, he cleared the table. However, he found that she had left something behind.

New York’s Waiters Are Busy

The restaurant Armando worked in was extremely busy at weekends, and as such, he was serving several tables at one time. Trying to attend to each person was difficult, and his attention was spread thinly.

Source: Imgur

One of the tables was a lady who wasn’t in the best of moods, along with her daughter. He was pleased that his other assigned tables seemed to be far more pleasant and polite than the lady sitting there eating her pizza.

The Proud Owner

On the pizzeria walls sits several images of the original owner, who takes great pride in the quality of service his restaurant gives to customers. The restaurant has been open since the early 1930s and continues to have a great reputation.

Source: Diply.com

Two women were sitting at one of Armando’s tables, and they were looking up at the image of the owner of the wall, talking between themselves. Something told Armando they were going to be trouble.

Ordering Pizza Doesn’t go Smoothly

Musting up a smile, Armando approached the table and asked to take their order. They ordered two slices of pizza, and everything was quite pleasant and calm. However, upon walking away, the older of the two women asked him something.

Source: YouTube

He wasn’t quite prepared for her query, and he was shocked that she had asked him such a thing. When you’re put on the spot, it’s sometimes very hard to come up with an honest and polite answer, and Armando was struggling.

Where Are The Women?

The woman rudely and angrily asked him why all the images on the walls were of men, and there were no pictures of women to be seen. Armando had never even noticed this himself, and her anger took him back for a second.

Source: YouTube

Because he was so caught in the moment, Armando laughed awkwardly as a way to diffuse the situation. However, that turned out to be the wrong move as it did nothing but infuriate the woman even more.

Joking Wasn’t The Right Move

Armando’s discomfort forced him to try and turn the question into a joke, hoping that the woman would see the funny side and calm down. He made a comment about perhaps women don’t like pizza as much, but the woman did not take kindly to his joke.

Source: YouTube

As Armando had several other tables to serve on this busy day, he left the woman seething, but she was keen to make him pay for his off-the-cuff remark. Trying to put the exchange out of his mind, Armando focused on his work.

A Tough Job

Armando has been a waiter for many years, and he knows that sometimes there will be customers who are rude or simply problematic. This is all part of the job and something which Armando has learned to manage over the years.

Source: Facebook

Despite the sometimes rude remarks, Armando always tried to be polite to customers because he needed the tips to top up his salary and help him live his life more comfortably at the end of the day.

Getting on With His Job

Armando was busy, and despite the way the women had treated him, he simply served them with a smile and got on with his job. When they asked for the bill, he gave it to them and carried on working.

Source: Reddit

He went back to the table to find the women had gone. At first, he panicked, thinking they hadn’t paid their bill, but the bill was paid. Inside the bill pocket, there was no tip but something else awaiting Armando instead.

A Snide Remark and a Shock

Rather than a tip, the woman had left a note which said that women might not want to tip, leaving Armando shocked. However, he simply went about clearing. While doing so, he found a white envelope.

Source: YouTube

He peered into the envelope and saw a bank logo. He immediately grabbed the envelope and ran out of the door, trying to catch the two women before it was too late.

Nowhere to be Seen

He scoured the streets outside, but he couldn’t see the women anywhere. He went back into the restaurant and pulled out the paper from the envelope to look more closely at what was inside.

Source: YouTube

The paper turned out to be a check for a huge amount of cash, a sum that Armando had never seen and probably would never get to see again. He was shocked and quickly considered what he should do.

What Should He Do?

The woman had been extremely rude to Armando and had left him with a note that was far from complimentary, despite him serving them well. He held the check-in his hands and knew that he could allow karma to play in his favor, but something didn’t sit comfortably with him

Source: YouTube

At the time, Armando was paying for medical school, and that amount of cash could revolutionize his life. He also thought about throwing it away and really teaching her a lesson. But would that solve anything?

A Big Decision

Armando quickly called the owner of the restaurant and explained what had happened. The owner came down and looked at the check, totally in shock at the huge amount of cash that was effective in his hands.

Source: YouTube

They allowed themselves to think about who the women might be for a second – who goes to a pizzeria with a check for that amount of cash and just leaves it on the table so carelessly? Perhaps she was a millionaire.

Not Your Regular Lost & Found

When a customer usually leaves something in a restaurant, it gets put in the lost & found box, and they turn up at some point to retrieve it, or it simply sits there for a long time. That’s not the right thing to do with a check that size!

Source: YouTube

The owner looked at the name on the check and investigated, but all leads took him nowhere. They decided to keep the check-in safe and wait for the woman to come back to the restaurant to collect it.

Retracing Her Steps

Meanwhile, the woman realized she had lost the check and scoured her home to find it. When that showed nothing, they started to retrace their steps to try and find the cash.

Source: YouTube

She began by calling the coffee shop she had visited earlier in the day, but that leads to nothing. She even called the pizzeria, but the person who answered the phone didn’t know about the check, so it took her to a dead end.

A Lifetime’s Worth of Cash

The money had been all of her life savings and the money from the sale of her apartment. She had been planning to put the deposit down on a new house, but she was now frantically searching for the whereabouts of the money.

Source: YouTube

Completely devastated at losing so much money, she called the bank and tried to cancel the check to stop it from falling into the wrong hands. However, the bank gave her some even worse news to ruin her day further.

More Bad News

It turned out that the check was a cashier’s check, and if someone wanted to, they could cash it, and the money would be theirs. The bank also told her that she had to wait three months to cancel it.

Source: YouTube

She had already sold her apartment in readiness for the new home she was about to buy, and now she had no money and no roof over her head either. She simply didn’t know which way to turn.

The Search Goes on

Armando was very keen to find the lady and reunite her with her check, but she hadn’t turned up at the restaurant yet. So, he decided to hire a professional to try and find her more effectively. It worked!

Source: YouTube

As she arrived at the restaurant with relief in her eyes, she was greeted by Armando. How did she feel? Was she shocked? Sorry? Full of remorse? Being greeted by the person to who you’d left a nasty note must have been awkward.

Reunited With Her Check

Armando was clear that the lady was extremely shy when she saw him and that she must have felt terrible to be in the situation she was in, being greeted by him. The owner gave her the check back, and he could tell she felt foolish about Armando.

Source: Twitter

To thank Armando for his honesty and hard work, she offered him a reward, but his reply wasn’t one which most people expected to hear upon being offered some cash for simply being a good person.

All’s Well That End’s Well

Armando told her that he didn’t want a reward and he was just happy she had got her money back. It was a very close call; the restaurant was busy, and he could have just cleared the table and not noticed the check.

Source: YouTube

They all sat down and talked things through over a pizza, and the owner even showed her the women she had somehow missed on the wall. It just goes to show that you should never be so quick to judge or to treat someone badly – you never know, they may end up saving you.