What would you do if you found the bank had accidentally put NZ$10 million (A$7.78 million) in your account? If you answered “take it all and flee the country”, you’ll likely end up in court pleading guilty to theft. That’s what happened to this New Zealand couple, anyway.
According to the ABC, Leo Gao and his wife discovered the windfall in 2009 and subsequently fled to China with as much of it as they could move. Gao has today plead guilty to theft in a New Zealand court and will be sentenced in August.
The whole thing came about after Westpac screwed up an overdraft application for Gao and his service station business. Instead of getting NZ$10,000 deposited into his account, he ended up with NZ$10 million.
Westpac has reportedly recovered NZ$2.9 million of the funds, while NZ$6 million was transferred to bank accounts in China. NZ$3.3 million is still unaccounted for. I smell a Hollywood movie coming on. [ABC]