Student’s horror after £2m spree after bank’s blunder gave unlimited overdraft

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A student went on a £2.6m spending spree that included luxury bags and a penthouse apartment when her bank accidentally gave her an unlimited overdraft.

Christine Jiaxin Lee was studying in Sydney at the time, and didn’t notice that her bank, Westpac, had made the error for more than two years. However, once she realised the mistake she spent the whopping sum over an 11-month period before the bank got in touch and informed the police.

Some of the then 21-year-old’s purchases included designer jewellery, clothes and the rental on a high end apartment building in which she lived in the penthouse.

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Lee also squirrelled away small cash deposits of around £2,500 into various secret bank accounts.

While the Malaysian student was arrested for the crimes, they were mysteriously dropped by prosecutors in 2017 and Lee fled back home with her current whereabouts unknown. Her boyfriend Vincent King claimed to be unaware of the vast funds that Lee had at her disposal.

Authorities were able to get back around £1m worth of funds in the form of repossession of items that the student had bought.

The chemical engineering undergrad had claimed that she thought the funds had been transferred into her account by her parents.

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Her lawyer argued Hugo Aston had told theAustraliancourt that although his client had been dishonest, she was not guilty of deception because the error had come from the bank. Mr Aston told the BBC in 2017: "She [Lee] has returned to Malaysia with her family and is happy to be getting back to her normal life."

When the bank realised they had made the error in 2015, a senior manager called Christine Jiaxin Lee to demand to know where the missing funds were. The Malaysian native was eventually charged with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime, but never convicted of any crimes.


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