Wednesday, December 19, 2007

If Your ATM Gives You Free Money

One day, if you find out that one of the ATMs dispenses 1000 dollars to you but only deduct one dollar from your account - would you be tempted to get more free money from that machine? Say, withdrawing 50,000 dollars for the cost of only 50 dollars?

Well, the answer is, DON'T DO IT - especially if you live in China.

Apparently this happened to a man in China. He discovered such a malfunctioning ATM, and he withdrew 175,000 yuan in 171 transactions. The embezzlement was discovered, so this guy got arrested and sentenced to life in jail.

Scary China legislation.

BEIJING (Reuters) - A man in China's southern city of Guangzhou has been jailed for life for taking funds from a malfunctioning ATM, local media reported on Tuesday.

In April last year, Xu Ting let his friend in on his secret that the ATM deducted only 1 yuan from his account for every 1,000 yuan withdrawn.

"Xu subsequently withdrew 175,000 yuan (12,000 pounds) in 171 transactions while Guo withdrew 18,000 yuan," the Beijing News reported.

Guo was jailed for a year after turning himself in while Xu remained on the run for a year before being apprehended and sentenced to life for theft.

The sentence has sparked an outcry from local media.

"Sentenced to life for unexpectedly discovering an ATM's malfunction and enticed into committing a crime is too harsh," the Beijing News said in an editorial.

Xu's lawyer said the ATM was the responsibility of the bank and it had had ample time to recover the lost funds. Xu's actions should come under the lesser charge of embezzlement, it added.

Xu has appealed against his sentence.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Nick Macfie)
Source: Cash-happy ATM lands man life in prison
Image Credit: Cartoon Stock


SilverIsle said...

Poor fella. Most of us would have done that too right? Is the case closed yet?

youngyew said...

Haha yeah, I might actually do it if I ever come across such a machine. :P I am not sure whether the case is closed, though, I think he's still appealing.