In 2010, 22 year old Luke Brett Moore opened a St George “Complete Freedom” bank account in Goulburn NSW. It was into this account that his Centrelink benefits were paid.
Before too long, the young man discovered a glitch in his bank’s system. He found he was able to withdraw huge sums of money from the ATM, despite not actually having these funds in his account.
Enjoying the bank’s ‘friendliness’, Luke continued to withdraw large sums of money. Each transaction was recorded on his bank statement and by August 2012 he owed the bank in excess of two million dollars.
Bizarrely, it took the bank a while to realise the exploitation, but when they did the NSW Police were set straight on the hunt.
In December 2012, the man was tracked down by Police who raided his home to unearth his stash of expensive cars, paintings and jewelery.
In April 2015, a jury of 12 found him guilty of fraud and dealing with the proceeds of crime. Judge Stephen Norrish sentenced him to a minimum of two years jail.
However, just five months into his jail term, he was released on Parole pending an appeal of his case.
In 2016, the NSW Criminal Court of Appeal found his conviction was a mistake as he had not actually ‘deceived’ the bank into lending him the money.
Justice Mark Leeming stated “The unusual aspect of [his] conduct was that there was nothing covert about it…[the St George’s bank statement chronicled] with complete accuracy [his] growing indebtedness”.
Curiously, he was found ‘not guilty’ of fraud and his jail sentence was overturned, setting the young man free.
If you are charged with a criminal offence and want to know more about your legal rights, contact Brazel Moore Lawyers on (02) 4324 7699 to speak to an experienced Solicitor today.