Bank Error Goes Unnoticed While Teen Spends Millions
Marilyn Caylor 6/7/2017
Most of us can only dream about becoming a millionaire, but one lucky teen was able to live that dream at her bank's expense!
Accidental millionaire Christine Jia Xin Lee acted as if it were business as usual when she went on a $4.6 million dollar spending spree, courtesy of an unlimited overdraft feature on her Westpac bank account.
While most of us have never seen that many extra zero's on our bank statement, the then 17-year-old didn't even bat an eyelash when she came into the large sum of cash back in 2012.
She then proceeded to do what any teenage girl would do - she went binge shopping!
Christine was able to withdraw millions of dollars from her account due to a banking glitch of epic proportions. It's something that most of us secretly wish would happen to us!
When Christine applied for an account with Westpac bank in Australia, they accidentally gave her an unlimited overdraft. Apparently, this is not the same as the "overdraft line of credit" found in U.S. banks, which account holders have to pay back as if it were a credit card.
To make matters worse, an important monitoring feature on the account had been inadvertently switched off, which meant that no one took notice of the error for almost four years.
Facebook/Perth Live News
When Christine first discovered the glitch, she was initially conservative and "only" charged $20,000 at a Chanel store.
The University of Sydney student wanted to see if she could actually tap into her new overdraft and not get caught.
Once she determined that no one was paying attention, she began transferring the funds into a different bank account.
Facebook/Melbourne Turkish News
So, what did the irreverent young lady buy with all that stolen cash? Well, she rented a penthouse, and then proceeded to blow the rest of the money on frivolous luxury items, such as designer handbags, clothes, and jewelry.
She also purchased one of those expensive Dyson vacuum cleaners. Hey, that penthouse doesn't clean itself, you know!
This is a small sample of what authorities found when they raided her stash of ill-gotten goodies.
Facebook/Perth Live News
The bank finally discovered the error when Christine transferred over a million dollars into her PayPal account.
When the true extent of her spending came to light, Christine claimed that she thought her parents had deposited the money.
Yet, when a warrant was issued for her arrest in 2016, the money-laundering thief applied for an emergency passport so she could sneak back home to Malaysia. Deep down, Christine knew that what she had done was wrong.
Facebook/Voice Of Indian Gorkhas
Unfortunately for her, Christine was detained at the airport just as she was trying to get away. However, she may actually get away with the mother lode of the century!
In a surprising reversal of fortune, the judge presiding over the case didn't wag her finger at Christine for being such a naughty girl. In fact, the lucky lady was immediately granted bail.
"It's not a proceed of crime, it's money we all dream about."
Christine's lawyer said it's Westpac's fault for giving Christine access to the overdraft in the first place, and it could be hard to prove that she had broken the law. While she probably won't be criminally charged, she will most likely be responsible for paying back what she spent.
Wow! What would you do if you became an accidental millionaire? Would you return the money, or jet off with a wad of cash to a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty?
Sources: The Sydney Morning Herald, FB Image Credit: Instagram/Rich Kids Of Instagram, Facebook/Mi Asia Pop