So what did he do? He spent it.
Stephen Reginald McDow, 34, was scheduled to be arraigned today for stealing the cash, which was mistakenly deposited into his account.
After a few months of finding no fat tax refund in her account, the victim asked her accountant to look into it and that's when they discovered what had happened.
The news release says that after he was contacted, McDow allegedly emailed the victim's lawyer saying he had already spent most of the money on car and student loans and foreclosure debt.
The victim then made several unsuccessful attempts to get her money back, the news release says. She eventually reported it to the Santa Ana Police Department, who arrested Dow yesterday.
If he's convicted, McDow could spend a maximum of four years in prison, the release says.
Emami said similar cases, in which money was deposited into the wrong account and then spent, have occurred in the past, but are infrequent.