A random quarter-million dollar bank deposit prompted a man to search for answers online this week.
Sam Curry, a staff security engineer from the Omaha, Nebraska metro area, took to Twitter after being unable to explain his sudden windfall.
“It’s been just over 3 weeks since Google randomly sent me $249,999 and I still haven’t heard anything about the support ticket,” he said. tweeted, along with a screenshot of the repository. “Is there a way to contact @Google?”
The engineer added: “It’s okay if you don’t want it back.”
Curry said he sometimes works as a bug bounty hunter, helping companies find vulnerabilities in their software. He told NPR that he had done this work for Google in the past, but found no connection between bug bounty hunting and the hefty sum in his account.
The mystery was solved when Google confirmed that it had accidentally paid the wrong part due to “human error”. The company told NPR that it intends to collect the payment.
It is illegal to knowingly keep money accidentally deposited into your account. Spending that money is considered a form of theft, which could result in misdemeanor charges if the deposit is less than $950 or even felony charges for a higher amount, according to criminal defense attorney Peter M. Liss of Vista Criminal Law.
In April 2021, a Louisiana 911 dispatcher was arrested for allegedly refusing to return an accidental deposit of over $1.2 million. The funds were mistakenly transferred to Kelyn Spadoni by financial services firm Charles Schwab & Co., who only intended to send about $82. Spadoni reportedly immediately transferred the money to another account and then spent some of it on a new car and house.
Another Louisiana couple mistakenly received a shocking $50 billion in June 2021, but thought better than to repeat Spadoni’s mistake. Darren James said he and his wife immediately called their bank to report the incident. Within days, the money disappeared from their account.
And in 2019, a Texas woman found $37 million in her account after a clerical error by her local bank. Ruth Balloon also informed her bank, but not before taking a screenshot to prove that she spent a day as a millionaire.
“I was a millionaire. I have a screenshot of it, so I can tell now. It’s quite a story,” Balloon said at the time.
Pleasemynews contacted Sam Curry and Google for comment.