Student Spent Millions After Bank Error Gives Her Access to Unlimited Funds

Christine Jiaxin Lee, who was a chemical engineering student at the time, was given an unlimited overdraft by her bank Westpac following a processing error – but the bank didn’t notice for months.

Lee went on an 11-month spending spree – which added up to around $3.4 million.

The then-21-year-old’s extravagant purchases included designer handbags, clothes, jewelry, mobile phones and other luxury items.

The items purchased were mostly luxury brands including Chanel, Cartier and Christian Dior.

She also used the money to rent a lavish penthouse apartment.

The error was picked up by the bank in April 2015 – almost a year after Lee started spending large – and a senior manager phoned her, demanding she explained where the missing millions were.

Lee at one point claimed that she believed the money had been transferred into her account by her parents.

Her boyfriend, Vincent King, denied knowing about the funds.

When she found out the police were trying to contact her about the money, Lee arranged for herself to be granted an emergency Malaysian passport, allegedly so she could leave the country undetected.

She was then arrested at a Sydney airport the same year, when she tried to board a flight to Malaysia.

Lee faced charges of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and knowingly benefiting from the proceeds of crime.

At the time, her lawyer Hugo Aston told a court in Sydney that although Lee had been dishonest, she had not committed any deception because the error had come from the bank.

The charges against her were dropped in 2017, and prosecutors did not give a reason for withdrawing the charges.

Lee’s lawyer told reporters at the time: “She has returned to Malaysia with her family and is happy to be getting back to her normal life.”

He also said many items purchased by Lee had been seized and returned.

She was also declared bankrupt, and Westpac spokesman said the bank had “taken all possible steps to recover its funds”.

No additional updates have been given on Lee since and she appears untraceable online.

Original Article

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