Fisherman's $230,000 windfall earns a trip to jail

March 19, 2010 

When more than $230,000 was mistakenly deposited in an Anchorage fisherman's bank account, he didn't waste any time taking care of the error, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Authorities caught up with Timothy Andrew Boles, 37, in a Soldotna hotel this week with a brand new 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS, a wad of cash, new clothes and a new laptop, according to troopers. Boles, who had cleaned out the account, told police the payout had been "20 years coming" and that he was on his way to Florida, troopers said.

But authorities instead took him to jail, where he was booked on a felony theft charge.

"If there's a huge windfall of money that is put into your account and there's no reason for it to be there, it's just clearly not yours," said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters, "you can't take the money and run. You have an obligation to notify your bank so they find out what truly went wrong and what needs to be corrected."

The error took place March 11, when Trident Seafoods initiated a wire transfer to the owner of a Dutch Harbor-based fishing vessel, the Cascade Mariner, according to an affidavit filed in court by trooper Sgt. Robert Hunter.

Trident employees put the wrong account number on the transfer request, and the money went to an account at Credit Union 1 that belonged to Boles, who was a crew member on the vessel, Hunter wrote.

By the time Trident learned of the error and tried to recall the money, it was gone, Hunter wrote. A bank employee told officials Boles told them he planned to leave the state and visit his mother. When Trident officials contacted her in Oregon inquiring about getting the money back, they were told to get lost, according to troopers.

Trident officials reported the loss to troopers on Tuesday. Investigators learned Boles had withdrawn $115,000 in cash, bought a $90,950 cashier's check, $5,600 in traveler's checks and paid off $17,630 on a loan for his 2008 Chevrolet Silverado, which he then sold to a dealership, according to the affidavit.

Investigators put Boles' name in a police database that includes wanted people. Then about 4:10 a.m. Thursday, Soldotna police were called to the Aspen Hotel on a noise complaint.

Officer Tobin Brennan said he was dispatched to the hotel in response to a report of a drunken woman -- Boles' girlfriend -- yelling and throwing her belongings in a room. Hotel staff wanted her kicked out. Boles had left her there while he went out bar-hopping, and he returned just before Brennan got on scene, the officer said.

Brennan ran Boles' name, found that troopers were looking for him and got in touch with an investigator who asked him to find out if Boles had a large amount of cash, he said. Brennan asked Boles if he'd be able to pay for the hotel bill, a cab and another room.

"He's like, 'Oh yeah,' " Brennan said. "He pulls out the cash and shows me the ($90,950) check. I never had to ask him anything. ... He was bragging to me about his 2010 Chevy Camaro with all the options."

"He just kept saying it was some kind of a settlement, 20 years in the coming."

Boles told Brennan he and his girlfriend planned to take the ferry to Washington and drive the new car to Oregon to introduce his girlfriend to his mother, Brennan said. Then they planned to buy a motor home and drive cross country to Florida, he said.

Instead, Boles was arrested on a single count of first-degree theft for taking lost or misplaced property and booked into Wildwood Pre-trial facility with bail set at $100,000, troopers said. The Camaro with all the options was impounded.

Officials from Trident did not return messages seeking comment Friday.


Find James Halpin online at adn.com/contact/jhalpin or call him at 257-4589.

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