Global News

Australian court bails student who 'spent bank error millions'

Australian court bails student who 'spent bank error millions'

The boyfriend of a woman arrested for allegedly spending millions of dollars on handbags four years after $4.6million was wrongly deposited into her bank account has described her as a "good girl".

The 21-year-old from Rhodes, in Sydney, was intercepted by federal police at Sydney airport when she tried to board a flight to Malaysia.

Police allege that when Ms Lee discovered this she failed to notify the bank, instead overdrawing her account to a sum of $4,653,333.02 between July 2014 and April 2015.

The processing error on behalf of Westpac led to the student taking up an illicit millionaire lifestyle, along with designer purchases, she also splashed out on a pricy luxury apartment in Sydney's inner west overlooking the harbor at a cost of $3000 AUD a month.

Lee's lawyer told the court on Thursday about $1 million had been spent on handbags, luxury items and some transfers, while more than $3 million remains outstanding.

Magistrate Lisa Stapleton, granting bail, told the court: 'It's not proceeds of crime.

Christine Jiaxin Lee $4.6 million

The police prosecutor noted that the money was accessed through an overdraft facility, mistakenly attached to Lee's Westpac savings account.

The alleged transfers made by Lee, who was arrested on Wednesday trying to fly to Malaysia on an emergency passport, were small enough to avoid the suspicion of banking officials, the Daily Telegraph said.

Stapleton questioned whether the cash could be considered a "proceed of crime", saying "it's money we all dream about".

McCarron added that Lee did not obtain her passport with the intention of fleeing the country but had simply lost her original one.

The Australian paper said a significant portion of the other missing A$3.3 million was already spent or could have been moved overseas. However, her bail conditions mean she must report to police twice a day.

Lee is scheduled to appear in court again on June 21.

Renewed protests in Baghdad over stalled reforms
Protesters waved Iraqi flags and sang songs praising al-Sadr while chanting slogans against those blocking change in the political and economic system.



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