Pennsylvania Man Called $175G Banking Error a 'Gift From God'

Thursday, January 22, 2009
Associated Press

BLOOMSBURG, Pennsylvania ó A Pennsylvania man says he considered it divine providence when a bank error put more than $175,000 in his and his wife's account.

Fifty-year-old Randy Pratt and 36-year-old Melissa Pratt face trial in Columbia County Court on felony theft and conspiracy charges. They waived a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

The trouble started when a $1,772.50 deposit to the Pratts' FNB Bank account showed up as $177,250 last summer. Police say that instead of telling the bank, they withdrew the money, quit their jobs and moved to Florida.

Randy Pratt tells the Bloomsburg Press Enterprise he did attempt to ask the bank what happened, but was ignored. He said he considered the money "a gift from God."

He says the couple gave away thousands of dollars, including $25,000 to a Florida church shelter for the homeless.

Randy Pratt is in county prison. A judge denied a request to lower his $100,000 bail. Melissa Pratt, who told the court she is estranged from her husband, is free on unsecured bail.