Man Goes On US$1.5m Gambling Spree After ATM Glitch Allows Him Unlimited Withdrawals

Ronald Page, a retired General Motors worker living in the Detroit area, took advantage of one hell of a computer glitch, after happening upon an ATM that allowed him to make unlimited cash withdrawals.

How did he choose to handle the situation? He loaded up his pockets and went on a multi-casino gambling bender. Unfortunately for him, Mr. Page's luck ran out at the ATM; he lost all US$1.5 million to the house.

Convicted of theft of bank funds totaling US$1.5 million, Page now awaits sentencing scheduled for 27 June. Local 10 reports that prosecutors have recommended a 15-month prison sentence because they believe "Page had a lapse of judgment and [Bank of America] the bank was at fault for allowing this to happen."

This seems rather lenient. The bank may have been at fault for its glitchy system, but Page made the choice to withdraw such a large sum of money. This may be a generalisation, but I'm going to wager a person knows whether they have US$1.5 million in the bank, or whether they're withdrawing funds that do not actually exist.

He had an opportunity to commit a crime (theft of bank funds) and he took it. Why oh why is the prosecution laying blame on the bank's glitch?

I'm opening this up to the Court of Public Opinion. Who's at fault here? Is Page getting off easy? [BusinessInsider via Local 10]



    presented with the choice yourself, not theoretically (but ACTUALLY!) a person is very susceptible to bad decisions. you can analyze his actions all you want, but you don't really know what went through his head and how poorly thought out his decisions were.

    if it was a kid, a student, you would probably say he/she was immature and made a poor decision.

    people do strange things when presented with huge amounts of money. things their judgement wouldn't normally do.

      So when the bank executives make bad desicions on mortgage loans, line their own pockets with millions after selling bad mortgage bonds all over the world and drive the economy into the ground becasue of their greed and they retire and sit on the beach of one of their many hideouts - oops, I ment exotic hide aways, and don't end up in jail, I guess they have to blame someone else for "steeling" money.

    Interesting that there's no mention of the very similar case in NZ reported just recently. I believe the repercussions were much more severe.

    So what gives with the US banks? Pretty sure they could use the extra cash.

    Maybe he got a email or phone call telling him he had won a lottery the week before. And all he needed to do was send the lotto company a small processing fee. ;)

    I'd me happy to serve 15 months if they'd like to give me 1.5 million. Where domain sign up? Standard account application at Bank of America will suffice?

    Right or wrong, he deserves the 15 months just for blowing it away at a casino. So many smarter choices. As for the lost money, theft and fraud... The sentence isn't enough since ultimately everyone else will pay through their bank fees or insurance premiums. When it comes to cash, the house always wins and that house doesn't have to be a casino. Insurance companies and banks also always win, and they're professional gamblers.

    Maybe he gave his details via email to one of the millions of rich African princes out there :D

    Taking into counts the situation presented, I honestly believe that he deserved the money. Th e bank fucked up by allowing unlimited access of an ATM they deserve the reprecussion.
    There could have been people with the wrong intentions that could have withdrawn the money and used it as a dangerous weapon, unlimited cash = disaster.

    If the news line read, man withdrew unlimited cash, payed local gang $1,000,000 to kill his CEO that fired him, what would you say then?

    well technically some could say he made a good logical decision. One of the things about gambling is that with unlimited funds your odds increase technically. at least thats how i see it. and im assuming he thought he had unlimited funds. Eg bet $5 lose it bet $10 lose it bet $20 .... winning one game puts you up and the odds of losing that many times in a row decreases with each attempt . Obviously hence why casinos put max limits etc.. but nevertheless the point is the same. Im guessing he was just making terrible bets 30K at a time on roulette single numbers

      Probability doesn't work like that - the odds of winning or losing one particular bet have nothing to do with the outcome of the bet before. There is no way to predict the beginning or end of a streak. And the only reason that casinos have a max bet on the general floor is because they are required to (usually by law). The high roller rooms have no such limits...

        Actually the chance of red or black (on roulette) I think is 49%. If you keep your bet consistent, i.e., red each time, and start at $50 and keep increasing it each time you lose, you will be in a better position to win back at least your invested funds. Each time you win, you must revert to your minimum bet, i.e. $50.

    Well if you say you lost the money, you don't have to give it back..... smart guy..... i.e. its probably sitting under his floor boards, and he said he lost it at the casino, 15months later he will be a rich man

      That's what I was thinking too and I hope that's the case. If he'd gone on a spending spree, the authorities would just take everything back he bought.
      I'd spend 15 months in prison for $1.5 million, no questions asked!

    Why would a Bank allow one of their ATMs to let you withdrawal half a million dollars at a time? No wonder they are in trouble

    Look at it this way, he is a foirmer auto worker in detroit. The banks screwed the place, the factories shutdown and the government gave GM millions to screw people over and give them selves fat raises. I would do it in a heartbeat but I would first buy a plane ticket! then go spending elsewhere.

    ???? What ATM has 1.5 Million in it. I thought the most an ATM was allowed to have was 50,000???

    Well, here's a test of just how morally decrepit our society is:
    - If you saw a woman walking alone at night, is it ok to rape her because she was careless?
    - If someone dropped their rent money on the ground, is it ok to steal it because they were careless?
    For those who are smug enough to think that stealing from those richer than you is a victimless crime, would you be ok if a desperate and penniless criminal broke into your house to steal what you have? Stealing has always been wrong, regardless of your motivations.

    It's stealing. Most children would have no problem re organizing that.
    I think he should make full restitution to the bank.

Join the discussion!