Some of the harshest penalties for property crimes that Los Angeles criminal defense lawyerscome across result from convictions for felony grand theft. ACalifornia man is facing the prospect of prison time after he failed toinform the Internal Revenue Service when the agency erroneouslydeposited someone else's tax refund into his bank account. The LagunaBeach man has been charged with grand theft.
The funds weresupposed be transferred to the account of a woman expecting a taxrefund. In 2010, the woman filed her 2009 federal tax return and wasexpecting a $110,000 tax refund from the IRS. She asked that the refundbe deposited directly into her bank account. However, the accountinformation she supplied to the Internal Revenue Service belonged to aclosed bank account. The account number was subsequently reassigned andnow belonged to Stephen McDow. The IRS mistakenly deposited $110,000refund into McDow's account. McDow paid debts with this bank account,and these debt payments included much of the balance transferred intohis account by the IRS.
In December 2010, the woman, who by nowhad become anxious after waiting several months, asked her accountant tocheck on the status of the refund. It was only then that the error wasdiscovered. Soon after, the woman's lawyers contacted McDow, demandingthe money. McDow offered to pay her in installments. The womanrejected McDow's offer and instead called police.
McDow wasarrested by Santa Ana police and charged with grand theft bymisappropriation of lost property. If convicted, he could be sentencedto four years in state prison.
Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys would caution bank customers to immediately notify your bankif you suspect an error in your account balance, even if that error isin your favor. If you happen to spend a portion of the balance whichwas mistakenly transferred into your account, you could face seriouscriminal charges, including grand theft.