July 5, 2012
What would you do if some money was mistakenly wired into your bank account? Would it make a difference if it was $100 or $1000? How about if it was $1,000,000?
Keeping, of course, would be equivocal to stealing. This is not a case of “finder’s keepers, loser’s weepers.” Large amounts of money do not go unnoticed. Nevertheless, a man from New Zealand thought he could get away with it when he became an “accidental millionaire.”. This according to theaustralian.com.
Accidental millionaire Hui "Leo" Gao had $NZ10 million ($7.81 million USD) mistakenly deposited into his bank account by Westpac. After being caught, he has come clean, admitting to seven theft charges relating to the money.
The 31-year-old Gao had originally been charged with 16 counts of theft and two of money laundering.
Just how did this happen? Gao applied for a $NZ100,000 overdraft to revamp his ailing service station in April 2009 but $NZ10m was mistakenly credited to his account instead.
He and partner Kara Hurring told friends and family they were going on holiday, put a sign on the service station to say it had gone under and fled the country. Nice try.
Honesty is always the best policy. Gao, always known as a stand-up guy before the incident, may very well find himself behind bars. It just goes to show that money corrupts. I hope he and his partner take a stop theft class and work toward keeping others from taking what does not belong to them, even if it finds its way into their possession accidentally.