SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Patrick Combs won fame and fortune _ literally _ when he successfully deposited a phony junk mail check for $95,000 through his bank's automated teller system.

Now, six months later, he's giving the money back.

Combs, a 29-year-old author whose plight put him on TV talk shows, has reached an agreement with First Interstate Bank to return the money.

He said it was just a lark when he deposited the check, and figured someone would realize it wasn't real.

But it took the bank a month to figure it out. When the bank asked for the money back, Combs said he was happy to return it.

Then a security officer accused him of fraud, and Combs refused to return the check until he could get something in writing from the bank to clear him. The bank refused and sued.

Now that the bank has given him a letter of explanation, Combs said he expected to hand over the money today and sign a five-page settlement.

First Interstate attorney Bernard Meyers declined to comment until the agreement is signed.