Student accidentally given £2million overdraft, here's what she bought

A student who was accidentally given an unlimited overdraft limit went on a shopping spree, managing to spend almost £2million before the authorities found out.

21 year old Chemical Engineering student Christine Jiaxin Lee went on a secret, four year long, spending spree after the Westpac bank in Australia accidentally gave her an unlimited overdraft.

After spending almost $3.3 million on designer goods, keeping the money secret even from her boyfriend, Christine was arrested last night at Sydney airport on charges of "dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime".

Now a list of designer goods she bought on her spree has been revealed, including a Birkin Himalayan crocodile palladium bag worth $158,225.67 (£80,275.73) and one shopping trip to Dior which cost her $220,200 (£111,600).



Christine, keeping a low-profile, atop a luxury motorbike in a photo she posted publicly on Facebook.


Four year shopping spree

When Christine found that her overdraft was unlimited, not what you'd expect from a standard student bank account, she spent the money on handbags and other designer goods, rather than informing the authorities of the mistake, a court heard last week.

Christine appears to have expensive tastes, according to a list released by the Federal Court. Purchases she's allegedly made include $1350 (£685) on a Chanel cashmere pillow, when a decent IKEA pillow retails at £12 ($23.65).

She also spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on handbags and designer jewellery, and hundreds of pounds on a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

Her biggest shopping spree came on April 9th 2015, when she spent $220,200 (£111,600) at the Christian Dior store in Sydney, before returning the next day to spend a further $94,520, according to the prosecution.

Christine handed in 27 items to her bank in April this year, including 16 Christian Dior handbags and four Hermes handbags, after a seizure order was issued by the court. These 27 items were worth $1million, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.


The full list of purchases

The full list of purchases, released by the Federal Court.


Bank "glitch"

Christine found the "glitch" in her account aged 17 and kept it a secret, even from her boyfriend, since then.

When the police tried to contact her, she allegedly arranged an emergency Malaysian passport, so that she could leave the country undetected.

Her boyfriend, Vincent King, told the bail hearing that Christine was a "good girl". Outside the court, he told reporters he had "no idea" she had access to that much money, and was completely unaware of his girlfriend's situation until she called him from custody, asking for help.

When told outside court how much Christine allegedly had access to, Lee said:

"That's big money."

Christine's lawyer told the court that the money was partly spent on expensive handbags. The magistrate commented: "That's a lot of handbags."

However the magistrate said the police will have a tough time proving any crime took place at all, pointing out to the court:

"She didn't take it from them. They gave it to her."


The Birkin Himalayan crocodile palladium bag, worth $158,225.67 (£80,275.73).


Not a crime

Addressing the court, magistrate Lisa Stapleton said that if she was given the overdraft by the bank, then no crime took place.

"It isn't proceeds of crime. It's money we all dream of," she said. "She didn't take it from them. They gave it to her."

Lee, who is three years into her Chemical Engineering degree, is due to appear next in court on the 21st of June.


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