Normally a glitch is a bad thing. Maybe it means your video game character gets stuck in a wall or maybe a glitch gets you wrongfully arrested. For an Australian man named Luke Moore, a simple bank glitch meant that he was able to blow $1.3 million on cars, travel, strippers and drugs over the course of two years.
In March of 2010, Moore was a penniless law student and claiming government benefits. He applied at his bank, St. George, for a “Complete Freedom Account” with overdraft protection. He quickly found out just how much freedom the account could afford him.
After hitting around £7,146 in overdrafts, Moore realised that the bank never stopped him from taking out cash.
Moore would take out money from St. George and put it into other banks. He travelled the world, hitting playboy hotspots like Thailand and the Australian Gold Coast. He bought an Aston Martin, a Maserati and a Hyundai (really?). He got a speed boat, a signed Michael Jordan Jersey and some art by Banksy. He took care of the little things as well, like insurance and paying the mortgage.
Then it all ended when the bank finally noticed its error, two years and nearly £800,000 later.
It looked like it was going to be a typical story of hubris when Moore was eventually sentenced to a maximum of four and half years for obtaining financial advantage by deception and three years for dealing with proceeds of crime, to be served concurrently. But no, life smiled upon this bumbling broke man. He spent five months in jail, and on December 1st an appeals court overturned his conviction because he “had not been deceptive” when misappropriating the bank’s funds. The bank had made no effort to stop him and he never tried to mislead them. By being such an inept criminal, Moore had given himself a way out.
Today, he drives an £600 car and lives with his mum. He had to give back all the stuff he’d bought. He told the Daily Telegraph he doesn’t miss the high life “besides the cocaine, the strippers and fast cars.” [Daily Telegraph via New York Post]