Prosecutors drop charges against Malaysian student accused of splurging RM14.2 million after bank error

A Malaysian student, who allegedly spent A$4.6 million (RM14.2 million) after a bank error gave her account an unlimited overdraft, has had all criminal charges against her dropped, Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reported on Friday (Dec 1).

A former chemical engineering student at Sydney University, Christine Jiaxin Lee, was charged with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime.

In May 2016, she was arrested while trying to board a flight to Malaysia. It was revealed then that Lee had spent a total of A$4.6 million on designer goods over a period of 11 months from 2014 to 2015.

She is said to have spent over A$300,000 in just one day.

After her arrest, the 21-year-old claimed that she did not know of the banking error and had thought her parents had deposited the money into her Westpac account.

According to Daily Telegraph, prosecutors dropped charges against Lee after a similar case was thrown out of court. In the other case, the accused was charged for fraud after withdrawing A$2.1 million from ATMs.

Lee’s lawyer told the Australian daily that Lee was “happy” the case was behind her, and plans to move on by moving back to Malaysia.

“There was no deception,” he was quoted as saying.

He also said: “It is obviously clear the bank should adopt better policies.”

A spokesperson for Westpac said that the bank had “taken all possible steps to recover its funds, including taking civil action against Ms Lee”.

In the meantime, New South Wales Police said they would continue to hold the luxury items, including bags from Dior, Hermes and Chanel.