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Author Topic: Millionaire couple flee New Zealand after bank mistake  (Read 485 times)
Beach Bum
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« on: May 21, 2009, 03:57:54 PM »

Somebody is getting fired.  What would you do? 

Millionaire couple flee New Zealand after bank mistake
Asia-Pacific News
May 21, 2009, 8:40 GMT

Wellington - Interpol has been asked to find a couple believed to have fled New Zealand after a bank mistakenly paid 10 million New Zealand dollars (6 million US dollars) into their account, according to news reports on Thursday.

The pair, identified by reporters Leo Gao and his girlfriend, Cara or Kara, Young, asked the Westpac Bank for a 10,000-New Zealand-dollar overdraft for the auto service station they ran in Rotorua.

The bank paid 10 million dollars into their account on May 5, Television New Zealand (TVNZ) reported. The service station closed the next day, the owners disappeared the day after that and then the company was put into receivership.

The couple may have headed to China or Korea with up to 6 million New Zealand dollars, TVNZ reported.

The bank refused to confirm reports that it had recovered 4 million New Zealand dollars, saying only that it had obtained 'a significant amount' and was 'pursuing vigorous criminal and civil action' to recover the outstanding money stolen.

A spokesman said human error was responsible for the mistake and the bank was reviewing its procedures.

Police refused to confirm the names of the people involved or say which countries Interpol was concentrating the search on.

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/asiapacific/news/article_1478612.php/Millionaire_couple_flee_New_Zealand_after_bank_mistake__2nd_Roundup__
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Beach Bum
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2009, 11:51:24 AM »

Would not surprise me if they arrest these people within a week. 

Hunt for accidental millionaires focuses on Hong Kong

(CNN) -- Police hunting for a New Zealand couple who allegedly fled the country after a bank mistakenly paid them $NZ10 million ($6 million) believe they traveled to Hong Kong.

New Zealand authorities have sought help from Interpol in locating the couple who disappeared May 7, two days after an employee error at Westpac bank paid them 1,000 times the amount they asked for.

TVNZ, a CNN television affiliate, named the couple as Leo Gao and his girlfriend Cara Young. Gao owned a gas station in Rotorua, a lakeside tourist town famous for its hot water springs and bubbling mud pools.

Police said Friday that the couple were believed to have traveled to Hong Kong.

"Enquiries to locate those individuals are continuing through Interpol in Hong Kong and official channels in Beijing," said Detective Senior Sergeant David Harvey. Video Watch as 'millionaires' go on the run »

Police were not confirming the identities of those involved but they were working with the family of one of the individuals named in the media, Harvey said.

The family were shocked at their name being associated with the case, he added.

TVNZ said the couple applied for an overdraft from Westpac worth up to NZ$10,000.

However, on or about May 5, the bank erroneously put NZ$10 million ($6.1 million) into their bank account. What would you do in this situation?

The next day, the gas station closed its doors. And the day after, the couple went missing.
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TVNZ said Westpac had confirmed that a customer had attempted to unlawfully transfer amounts totaling around NZ$6.7 million ($4.1 million).

Nearly NZ$3 million ($1.85 million) had been recovered and the bank was continuing to vigorously pursue the outstanding amount, Westpac Media relations manager Craig Dowling told the station.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/22/new.zealand.millionaires.hunt/index.html
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2009, 12:49:50 PM »

with that much cash i'd be sitting in Srilanka or india tomorrow..or maybe china  Cheesy

pay the right people off and i'd have official documents saying i ws born in india and my name is vishnu singh!  Wink
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2009, 07:24:13 PM »

That's a lot of money, but if you have to live your whole life on the run I don't know if it is enough.
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2009, 10:23:42 PM »

That's a lot of money, but if you have to live your whole life on the run I don't know if it is enough.

It's enough for that' the problem is that someone who obeyed the law all his life can't suddenly disappear from Interpols eye. They will do plenty of mistakes and they will be arrested.
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2013, 11:43:38 AM »

I thought they would have been arrested within a week.  Was just a tad off.  More like a few years.

'Accidental' millionaire's spending spree ends in prison
By Hilary Whiteman, CNN
updated 12:30 AM EDT, Fri August 24, 2012

(CNN) -- A New Zealand gas station owner turned international fugitive has been sentenced to four years and seven months in prison after stealing millions of dollars accidentally deposited into his bank account.

Hui "Leo" Gao, dubbed the "accidental millionaire," sparked a global manhunt after fleeing New Zealand with his girlfriend Kara Hurring in April 2009.

Hurring was sentenced to nine months' home detention for her part in the heist, according to CNN affiliate TV NZ. The 33-year-old was also ordered to pay back $9,615 (NZ$11,830) at the rate of $60 (NZ$75) a week, the broadcaster said.

Gao's journey from the forecourt to fugitive began in April 2009 when Australian bank Westpac accidentally gave him access to $7 million (NZ$10 million).

Gao had applied for overdraft financing for the gas station he co-owned with his mother in Rotorua, New Zealand, court documents said.

The bank approved his application with a $100,000 limit, however while inputting the figure a bank employee made a clerical error and gave him access to 100 times the intended amount.

Gao discovered the error the next day and told his girlfriend, Kara Hurring that he was "f—ing rich" and had millions of dollars, court documents said.

In less than one month, the couple withdrew $6.8M from Gao's bank account and transferred it to accounts in Hong Kong and China.

In late April 2009, Gao fled to Hong Kong where he was joined a few days later by Hurring. Before leaving New Zealand, the couple had been living together in Rotorua with Hurring's six-year-old daughter, court documents showed.

In early May, the bank became aware of the error and alerted authorities who issued an Interpol alert for the missing couple.

Hurring spent almost two years on the run before returning to New Zealand in February 2011 to renew her daughter's passport, TV NZ reported. In May, she was found guilty of 28 counts of theft and two counts of money laundering, according to court records.

Gao was arrested in Hong Kong in September 2011 and extradited to New Zealand two months later. In June, he pleaded guilty to seven charges of theft.

Westpac, the Australian bank, recovered about $2.9M from the couple's New Zealand accounts, but has yet to recoup the remaining $3.8M. Crown Prosecutor Fletcher Pilditch told the court the bank was continuing to dedicate considerable resource to recovering the stolen money, TV NZ said.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/24/world/asia/new-zealand-accidental-millionaire-sentenced/index.html
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JOHN MATRIX
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2013, 11:52:20 AM »

Damn would have been cool if they had got away
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2013, 12:03:21 PM »

Damn would have been cool if they had got away

They probably could have if they left and moved to some place like South America.  Going back to New Zeland for a passport was pretty darn stupid. 
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JOHN MATRIX
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2013, 01:53:44 PM »

Yea that was a bad idea lol
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