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Crime

If $110,000 Landed in Your Bank Account, Would You Keep It? SoCal's Stephen Reginald McDow Allegedly Did, And Now He's in Jail

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Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 9:00 AM

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What would you do if $110,000 magically appeared in your bank account?

Thought so. But not so fast. A man in Orange County did just that -- allegedly -- and now he's behind bars. Because this particular $110,000 was a tax refund intended for a woman in L.A. who has only been identified as 67-year-old Michelle D.

And when the federal government's cash is involved, it seems, there will be blood.

Thirty-four-year-old Stephen Reginald McDow of Laguna Beach was arrested this week after he allegedly used the surprise infusion to pay off some foreclosure debt and student and car loans, according to the Orange County Register.

The money was apparently intended for the L.A. woman's account but was mistakenly wired to McDow's, prosecutors say, because she provided an outdated account number that had been reassigned to him. Lucky guy. Or not.

What's the alleged crime?

According to the Register, McDow has been charged with "one felony count of theft of lost property with a sentencing enhancement for taking property over $65,000."

Stealing lost property? Again, consider that this was, at one time, federal property.

And authorities say he didn't respond when the woman tried to get her cash back. And KNX 1070 Newsradio suggested the victim wasn't going to see her refund.

So lesson learned.

Give it back. But only if someone asks.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]

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