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Friday, May 6, 2016

Christine Jiaxin Lee's spending spree

Westpac Bank made a terrible mistake when they gave Christine Lee $4.6 million by mistake four years ago.  She went on a spending spree that most young girls could only dream about - she went on a designer binge.

She was arrested on Wednesday night while trying to board a flight to Malaysia and charged with dishonesty, obtaining financial advantage by deception and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime.

Ms Lee's penthouse apartment with harbour views rented for $750/week

However, Magistrate Lisa Stapleton approved her bail application and said it appeared that Westpac inadvertently gave her an unlimited overdraw facility and so she used it.  "It isn't proceeds of crime, it's money we all dream of" she said.

The magistrate thinks it will be difficult to prove the spending was illegal.  "She didn't take it from them - they gave it to her" she said. And if this is proved to be the case, she would owe the bank the money but she wouldn't have  broken the law.

Westpac apparently gave her credit on the account in the form of an unlimited overdraft.

Between July 2014 and April 2015, Ms Lee allegedly overdrew on numerous occasions, totalling $4,653,333.02 and about $3 million remains outstanding.

Prosecutor Marc Turner strongly opposed bail because Ms Lee was a flight risk and all attempts to contact her by police and Westpac bank had been ignored.

But Magistrate Stapleton approved her bail application on condition she surrender her passport, attend Ryde police station twice a day and live with her boyfriend Vincent King in Rhodes. 

Her boyfriend paid the $1000 bond but there was a problem verifying his identity and she had to spend the night in police custody.  She will appear again today before Waverly court to re-submit accurate bail information.

Vincent King

Her boyfriend, Vincent King, said he was shocked at the allegations and had "no idea" his girlfriend was living the high life.