Student accidentally given unlimited overdraft, goes on £2million shopping spree
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".
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."
In further developments, on the 13th December plead not guilty
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 has heard.
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."
A thought we were all thinking.
Christine's lawyer told the court that the money was partly spent on expensive handbags. The magistrate commented: "That's a lot of handbags."
Vincent King, outside court, being told his girlfriend had access to millions of dollars.
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."
Though she might not have committed a crime, she may still owe the bank the money she spent over the four years, though it's unclear how they'd be able to claw that amount of money back from Christina, and might not be able to do so.
Lee, who is three years into her Chemical Engineering degree, is currently in court, and is awaiting a date for her trial.
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