Malaysian ‘Overnight Millionaire’ Free After Australia Withdraws Fraud Charges

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 – Christine Lee Jiaxin, 22, is probably sighing in relief after the Australian government dropped a fraud case against the Malaysian woman who splurged A$4.6 million (S$4.69 million) that a bank had mistakenly deposited into her account five years ago.

Lee’s lawyer Hugo Aston said he was informed by the Australian director of public prosecutions that the charges against his client were dropped as the government found there was “no deception” on her part for the bank’s mistake, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported on Friday (Dec 1).

Lee was arrested at the Sydney Airport in May last year as she was trying to fly home and charged at the Waverley Local Court with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage through deception and knowingly dealing with criminal proceeds, after spending A$85,000 in a week on designer clothes, handbags, and living in a luxury penthouse in the city.

The then 17-year-old chemical engineering student was accused of hiding A$1.3 million by moving A$33,000 a week into private accounts at banks not connected to Westpac, the bank that accidentally transferred A$4.6 million to her account as an overdraft in August 2012. 

The transfers were reportedly small enough to have gone unnoticed among banking officials. In her defence, Lee had claimed she thought her parents deposited the funds for her use when explaining the withdrawals. — Malay Mail Online

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