Woman shreds $1.5m 'to spite heirs'

VIENNA • An 85-year-old Austrian granny cut up almost €1 million (S$1.5 million) in cash into tiny pieces in an apparent attempt to spite her heirs.

After the woman died in a retirement home, the €950,000, as well as savings accounts books were found shredded on her bed, prosecutors said.

State prosecutor Erich Habitzl confirmed the discovery on Thursday - first reported in the Kurier daily - but said that there was nothing he could do for the relatives.

"The damage of the money in the woman's property is not a criminal matter, so we have not begun any investigation," Mr Habitzl told Agence France-Presse.

Kurier reported, however, that the woman's surviving family will have the last laugh, with Austria's central bank (OeNB) saying it will replace all the cash.

"If the heirs can only find shreds of money and if the origin of the money is assured, then of course it can all be replaced," Mr Friedrich Hammerschmidt, deputy head of the OeNB cashier division, told the Kurier.

"If we didn't pay out the money, then we would be punishing the wrong people."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2015, with the headline 'Woman shreds $1.5m 'to spite heirs''. Print Edition | Subscribe