When 21-year-old Kieran McKeefery woke up one fine morning and decided to check his bank balance before facing another weary day in work, he got, to put it mildly, the shock of his life.
Sitting pretty in the bewildered Brit’s modest bank account was a surprise sum, which had accidentally been deposited overnight, and which had transformed the young man from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, from aspiring hopeful on the rocky and capacious road of life, to established millionaire and master of great wealth. Well, on paper at least.
Staring at the bright glare of the computer screen in mute wonder, Kieran’s hands began to shake, his veins coursed with adrenaline, and his imagination sung with possibility, as it suddenly dawned on the bemused Brit that his humble income had been suddenly boosted by just over $2 million. How did it get there, the newly-created millionaire asked himself in dumbstruck awe.
The Mirror reports that the massive deposit was marked only as “CHAPS Payment” – a Clearing House Automated Payment System, which obviously was of no help to Kieran, who admits to be being more than a little confused as to quite what the hell was going on.
“I was a bit fazed at first. It was such a copious amount of money to be in my bank. I thought ‘oh God, what has happened’ – I was a bit shocked more than anything else.”
Yet it’s what Kieran decided to do next which will have the less honest of you out there slamming your fist against the desk in abject disbelief and furiously yelling, “Hell no!”
While for some of the more unscrupulous, and live today, worry tomorrow kind of guys and gals wouldn’t have hesitated in turning a blind eye to this lovely gift horse’s mouth, before embarking on an insane shopping spree and honoring mammon with every unearned dollar. Kieran is an honest sort and believes in doing things the old fashioned way. As such, the young web designer phoned his bank to inform them of the little indiscretion and kindly asked them to investigate.
“I called the bank and they said they would look into it. I was kind of tempted [to spend the money] but I had read stories about people spending money mistakenly placed in their accounts and getting in trouble. I spoke to my partner and she said to just leave it there and don’t touch it.
The bosses at Natwest told Kieran that the $2 million had been transferred to his account by a huge investment company, and it was their responsibility to take it back. Yet tempted as he was to spend some of the money, Kieran still decided to wait and see what happened.
“I had all this money in my account and they said they had made the request [to the payee’s bank] and I just had to wait. They said it was up to them to sort it. I was buying a new car and I could have paid for it in cash – and bought quite a few more – with the money in my account. It was a bit crazy really.”
After 10 tense days of waiting to see if he’d remain a millionaire, the $2 million suddenly vanished from Kieran’s bank account in the same way it had appeared – overnight.
With a huge investment company that made this honest mistake in the first place, you’d think they might have offered Kieran some sort of finder’s fee reward to thank him for his honesty. Did they? Nope! But when the cash vanished, it did leave Kieran with over $300 worth of interest. Something for which he remains grateful.
“The interest was pretty good really and they haven’t asked for it back?”
What do you think. Was honesty the best policy in this situation?