A bank accidentally deposited $ 50 billion into a Louisiana family’s account

(CNN) – For four days, Darren James and his family were billionaires.

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana real estate agent and his wife were doing a routine review of their finances last Saturday when they noticed that $ 50 billion had been mistakenly deposited into their Chase Bank account.

“That’s not like a one-zero error or a two-zero error, it’s someone who fell asleep on the keyboard,” James joked. “I was excited. Really surprised how he got there and wondered if he had a rich uncle.

But to his disappointment it was not an inheritance, just an incredibly unusual mistake.

Chase Bank restored the family’s account to its correct balance Tuesday, James said.

“We are still trying to find out what happened, why it happened, how it happened, but we know that we are not the only ones to whom this happened,” he told CNN. “The concern is if my account was compromised and the bank hasn’t even called me. We haven’t heard from anyone. “

Chase Bank acknowledged the bug to CNN, but gave a different timeline for when it was fixed.

“We had a technical problem a couple of weeks ago that affected a limited number of accounts. The issue was resolved a day later and all accounts show accurate balances, “Chase Bank spokeswoman Amy Bonitatibus told CNN.

People who spend money mistakenly deposited into their bank accounts can be forced to return the funds, pay fees, and can even be charged with crimes. In 2019, a Pennsylvania couple faced a felony theft crime after their bank accidentally deposited $ 120,000 into their account, with the couple spending most of it instead of contacting the bank, police said.

But James said he never considered spending money.

“My moral compass only goes in one direction and that’s the right way,” he said. «There is a big difference between morality and legality. Honesty and good moral character came into action immediately, we can’t do anything with money. I did not earn it, it is not ours to spend.

Still, he joked, “Unless it was a rich uncle or one of those emails I probably responded to from a prince in Saudi Arabia who promised to give me $ 50 billion, that’s a different story.”

James said that if the family had been able to keep the money, they would have tried to “bless” others in need.

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