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1 Error Results in $4.6M Debt (Update)

Thursday, December 28, 2017 - Posted by Michael McCulloch

In our May 2016 issue of Debt Collection News we reported that an internal oversight by Westpac resulted in a 21 year old student overdrawing her account by $4.6 million

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on 01/12 that criminal charges against the 21 year old, Christine Jia Xin Lee, have been dropped.  Magistrate Lisa Stapleton indicated earlier on in the proceedings that Ms Lee may not have broken any laws at all.

The Department of Public Prosecution dropped the charges after a similar case involving a man withdrawing $2.1 million from ATMs was dismissed by the Court.

In response to the charges being dropped a spokesperson for Westpac said, "Westpac has taken all possible steps to recover its funds, including taking civil action against Ms Lee. The criminal charges against Ms Lee were a matter for the DPP and Police, and we respect their decision.” Ms Lee's lawyer, Hugo Aston, said in a statement, "She is happy it is behind her, and to move on with her life. There was no deception. It’s a very interesting case, and an interesting outcome. It is obviously clear the bank should adopt better policies.”

NSW Police have indicated that they will continue to hold onto a number of items, including luxury handbags, pending the outcome of the civil proceedings commenced by Westpac in which to recover the monies.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald - December 2017

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