In April 2013, a British woman went on a wild spending spree after $88,000 was mistakenly deposited into her bank account.
Lichfield District Council was supposed to have paid the sum to a housing association; the deposit, however, accidentally went to 23-year-old Micheala Hutchings’ account.
Instead of reporting her sudden windfall, the single mom proceeded to act is if the money were her own.
Hutchings reportedly blew $8,000 on designer handbags, shoes and sunglasses from upscale brands Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Dior.
She even gave her own mom $1,700 of the money.
After paying off another $1,700 in court costs, she reportedly placed the remaining $68,000 into a savings account.
It didn’t take long, however, for Lichfield District Court to discover its clerical error and alert the police.
In March, Hutchings pleaded guilty to dishonestly retaining a wrongly credited bank transfer. She was initially sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month community order.
The BBC reports that at a Stafford Crown Court confiscation on Tuesday, she was told that if she doesn’t pay back all of the money in six months’ time, she will face 20 months in jail.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said that her clothes will be sold at auction, in an attempt to help her repay her massive debt.
Lichfield councilor Christopher Spruce noted that, “We are working closely with our partners to put additional checks into our systems to ensure a similar payment error cannot happen again in the future.”