A 21 year old Malaysian student who is living in Australia was arrested after spending most of the $4.6 million (RM13.6 million) on luxury handbags that was accidentally deposited in her bank account.
Christine Jiaxin Lee, a chemical engineering student, accidently received $4.6 million (RM13.6 million) deposit as an overdraft in 2012. Within a year, she manage to spent $3.3 million (about RM9.7 million) of the money on luxury handbags and cash transfers.
She allegedly purchased ‘luxury items’ while taking advantage of the mistakenly extended overdraft.
Christine had been living in a $3,120/month (about RM9K) sub-penthouse apartment with Sydney Harbour Bridge views before her arrest.
The Australian authorities began investigating the deposit in 2012, but an arrest warrant wasn’t filled until March of this year. Christine was arrested by the Australian federal police at Sydney Airport when she tried leaving back to Malaysia.
Lee was charged with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Lee’s lawyer, Fiona McCarron told the court that the money was partly spent on luxury items like expensive handbags, to which the Magistrate commented: ‘That’s a lot of handbags.’
While Lee never notified the bank of their error, the spending of the money may not have been illegal.
The magistrate said that if this is what happened, the student would owe the money she had spent but would not have broken the law.
“They gave it to her. But she wouldn’t necessarily have broken the law,” the judge said, adding that Lee would now have to owe the bank back the money she spent.