Woman arrested in Sydney over multi-million-dollar fraud

Sydney, May 5 (IANS) A Sydney woman faced court on fraud charges after she spent millions on handbags and luxury goods after a bank provided her with 4.6 million Australian dollars ($3.44 million) in error, the media reported on Thursday.

New South Wales (NSW) state police arrested Christine Jiaxin Lee, 21, at Sydney Airport on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The court heard she was attempting to board a flight to Malaysia with an emergency issued passport.

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

It is alleged that 3.3 million Australian dollars of 4.6 million Australian dollars was yet to be recovered.

Lee was granted bail by the magistrate. However, her bail conditions mean she must report to police twice a day.

NSW state police detective inspector Sean Heaney on Thursday said if members of the public find money in their accounts that should not be there, or they have an ability to overdraw on an account that they should not have, they should not spend the money.

“Speak to your financial institution, have the matter rectified, if you fall into the temptation of spending other people’s money, you may be committing criminal offences,” Heaney said.

He said exploiting an error made by the bank amounted to stealing.

“The money doesn’t belong to you, you know that, don’t go spending it, it’s going to cause you some trouble with the police.”

The case will return to court on June 21.

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