Broke mom stunned to find $271K in her account

Broke mom stunned to find $271K in her account »Play Video
BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Behind in rent, facing eviction and struggling, single mom Lynita Regis couldn't believe her eyes when she went to the ATM.

It said her balance was $271,366.01!

She checked her bank balance again, and each day the balance ballooned, more money than she'd ever earned or seen.

"271 (thousand), 275 (thousand), 278 (thousand)," she said.

Relatives fostered the fantasy of what life could be.

"My son was like, 'Mom keep the money, keep the money,' " Regis said.

She felt the temptation.

"It could change my life. I would love to keep the money," she said.

She started mentally spending the cash on a new car, bills, or on her friends.

"It's a struggle, we're human but a child of God and gotta do the right thing even though I have nothing," Regis said.

To untangle the money mix-up, we headed to KeyBank in Bellevue where the branch manager helped us find the rightful account owner.

Turns out, the money belongs to King County. Regis once worked there at the jail, a job that apparently had signee privileges she didn't know she had. When a teller issued her a new debit card last week, it mistakenly gave her access to the adult detention center account.

Regis left the bank with a new card and back where she began.

"Broke but I feel relieved... but broke," she said.

Regis says someday she'll have to pay the piper but she didn't want to do it with stolen money.

"At the end of the day, are you gonna sell your soul for $271,366.01?" she said.

At the end of this day, Regis paid rent and is now $3 overdrawn.

We notified the King County Jail of the error and the staff was stunned. The public information officer said Regis deserves recognition for her honesty.

He said the bank and jail will study their systems to make sure this doesn't happen again.