ANCHORAGE - A commercial fisherman found $230,000 deposited into his checking account and drained it to buy a new car, clothes and a computer, but the transfer was a mistake and the fisherman has been charged with felony theft, Alaska State Troopers said.
Police in Soldotna responding Thursday to a disturbance at a hotel arrested 37-year-old Timothy Andrew Boles. They seized a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS, cash, new clothes and a new laptop, according to troopers.
"If there's a huge windfall of money that is put into your account and there's no reason for it to be there, it's just clearly not yours," said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters. "You can't take the money and run. You have an obligation to notify your bank so they find out what truly went wrong and what needs to be corrected."
Trooper Sgt. Robert Hunter said in court filings that the error took place March 11, when Trident Seafoods initiated a wire transfer to the owner of a Dutch Harbor-based fishing vessel, the Cascade Mariner.
Trident employees put the wrong account number on the transfer request and the money went to a credit union account that belonged to Boles, a crew member on the vessel.
Trident detected its error and tried to recall the money but it was gone. A bank employee told officials that Boles said he planned to leave the state and visit his mother. When Trident officials contacted her in Oregon inquiring about the missing money, they were told to get lost, according to troopers.
Investigators learned Boles had withdrawn $115,000 in cash, bought a $90,950 cashier's check, $5,600 in traveler's checks and paid off $17,630 on a loan for his 2008 Chevrolet Silverado, which he then sold to a dealership.
At about 4:10 a.m. Thursday, Soldotna Police Officer Tobin Brennan was called to the Aspen Hotel on a noise complaint.
Hotel staff said a drunken woman, identified as Boles' girlfriend, had been yelling and throwing her belongings in a room. Hotel staff wanted her kicked out. Boles returned just before Brennan reached the hotel.
A records check indicated Boles' was wanted. A trooper told the officer to find out if Boles was carrying a large amount of cash, he said. Brennan asked Boles if he'd be able to pay for the hotel bill, a cab and another room.
"He's like, 'Oh yeah,'" Brennan told the Anchorage Daily News. "He pulls out the cash and shows me the ($90,950) check. I never had to ask him anything. ... He was bragging to me about his 2010 Chevy Camaro with all the options."
Boles was charged with theft for taking lost or misplaced property. His bail was set at $100,000.