Prosecutor: OC Man Used $110K Tax Refund Error To Pay ‘Various Bills’
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Laguna Beach man who failed to notify authorities after over $110,000 was mistakenly transferred into his bank account now faces jail time, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Stephen McDow is charged with one felony count of grand theft by misappropriation of lost property — with an enhancement for taking property worth over $65,000 — after finding the money in his own checking account.
Prosecutor Matt Lockhart said a filing error was blamed after the Internal Revenue Service transferred it electronically to the wrong person.
But KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports the money didn’t stay in there for very long.
“He received the money on Sept. 10, 2010 and on Sept. 11, 2010 he started spending the money on various bills that he had,” said Lockhart.
Lockhart said the mix-up came after an unnamed Los Angeles woman inadvertently provided the IRS with a Citibank account number that had been closed in 2004 and was subsequently reassigned to McDow.
After attempts were made by the woman’s attorneys to recover the funds, McDow told them he had already spent up to $60,000 of it on car and student loans and to keep his home out of foreclosure, Lockhart said.
McDow faces four years in prison if convicted and is being held on $110,000 bail.