Malaysian woman charged over spending $4.6m bank error lived the high life, including living in penthouse

Christine Jiaxin Lee was charged in May with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime following her arrest at Sydney Airport while trying to board a flight back to Malaysia.
Christine Jiaxin Lee was charged in May with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime following her arrest at Sydney Airport while trying to board a flight back to Malaysia.PHOTO: SOCIAL MEDIA

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Malaysian woman who had allegedly spent A$4.6mil (S$4.6 million) that was mistakenly given to her by a bank lived the high life until her arrest earlier this week.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, 21-year-old Christine Jiaxin Lee listed her address in court documents as a sub-penthouse unit in the suburbs of Rhodes, Sydney that "boasts uninterrupted views across to Sydney Harbour".

The unit was said to have been put up for lease in March with rent set at A$780 a week, with an advertisement calling it one of Rhodes' "newest and most sought after properties" with 180-degree views of Sydney.

However, it was said that Lee's Facebook account only hinted at her luxurious lifestyle.

Her boyfriend, Mr Vincent King, was also reported to have given a second address in court on Thursday, which was a waterfront unit in the Sienna By The Bay complex, also in Rhodes.

He expressed shock on hearing of his girlfriend's alleged windfall.

 
 

"That's big money," he is reported to have said, when told of the alleged A$4.6 million overdraft.

In August 2012, Lee opened a statement account with Westpac Bank, after which the bank had mistakenly given her credit on the account in the form of an unlimited overdraft.

The chemical engineering student, who has been living in Australia for the past five years, went on a shopping spree for luxury handbags and shoes even though Westpac and the police made numerous attempts to contact her.

She was charged with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime following her arrest at Sydney Airport while trying to board a flight back to Malaysia.

However, magistrate Lisa Stapleton had reportedly expressed her scepticism about the charges against Lee.

She had agreed that it would be difficult for the police to prove the spending was illegal, saying: "She didn't take it from them. They gave it to her."

Though bail was granted, Lee failed to meet her bail conditions.