While your best friend probably winces every time they have to buy you a beer, one Aussie legend has spent upwards of $1.5 million on private jets, lavish restaurants and expensive gifts for his mates.
This came about through an ATM glitch, which allowed Dan Saunders, an Aussie bloke (at the time) working in a pub to continuously withdraw money despite the machine saying “transaction cancelled.”
And although, “It baffled him when the money kept coming out, but not appearing on his statements, (News.com)” that wasn’t quite enough to stop him…
“A lot of it is a blur I guess.” Mr Saunders told Today Tonight with a big grin.
“I’m transferring money from my credit card to my savings account and it’s just spitting the card back out and saying ‘transaction cancelled’,” he continued.
“But (I) go in and check the balance and the money’s there.”
“I was just interested in having a good time, drinking some nice wine and meeting some nice people and just enjoying things really,” he tells the current affairs program.
The only problem? Obtaining money by deception is a criminal offence.
Dan knew that, and was—again—baffled when “someone (from the bank or police) didn’t come,” revealing in his television debut that he, “Thought it was going to end after one week, not four and a half months.”
As it turns out, no-one came, and in the first few weeks alone Dan spent $20,000—a figure that over the course of four months spiralled into a hair raising $1.6 million.
Until he turned himself in.
While Dan admits he wouldn’t have made those decisions if it weren’t for finding “some crazy ATM loophole,” he appears to have zero regrets, as the glitch gave him a taste of a lifestyle he never would have experienced otherwise.
As News.com reports, “His short-lived life as a high roller began after he finished working a shift at his local pub in Wangaratta in rural Victoria in 2011.”
“Realising he can now afford anything he wanted, he headed straight for designer stores.”
He then spent $90,000 on a private jet to take him and a some mates to a remote Asian island for a weekend getaway.
“It’s a pretty addictive thing to make money appear from nowhere and be able to spend it.”
But eventually Dan began to worry about the law catching up with him: “I think the money and the general good time made it bearable but I always knew something, someone would come or something would happen,” he told Today Tonight.
“At the end of it I had to say to myself, ‘Am I an international criminal who’s just going to transfer money away and never be seen again?’”
“That’s when I stopped doing it because I asked myself that question … and the answer was ‘no’,” he explained.
As a result of coming clean, he was charged with obtaining money by deception, and sentenced to a year in jail, in 2015.
Now out of jail, he’s back working in hospitality—on $22 an hour—and although he misses his “money tree” every day, he hasn’t gone back to an ATM to try again…