A New South Wales youngster is at the heart of a huge court case being contested in Australia right now. His mother is taking the four major Australian banks (Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and NAB) to court for damages in a case that has seen her son go from your average teenager to a Richie Rich-esque crook.
In a nut shell, since the age of 14, this little “entrepreneur” has bucked the system to launder oodles of cash by less than honorable means. The youth, now 19, has netted around $200,000 (Australian) in total, with a number of under-handed schemes. It started with eBay. He would list fictitious items such as laptops, cell phones and watches then he’d watch the money roll in from scammed eBay customers. It is said he was making as much as $6,000 per day at one stage. From there he took his conniving practices to the banks. Armed with a birth certificate and a co-signing friend as his guardian, he would walk into banks and open new accounts. When he received his debit cards he would then use the overdraft protection rule as a means to steal more cash. Most of the banks had a $1,500 overdraft protection rule in place, so he’d basically keep drawing out money until the well ran dry. He did this to several different establishments.
So what does a youngster do with so many ill-gotten gains? He spends it of course! He dined in the finest restaurants. He wore the finest clothes. And he stayed in the finest hotels (including one that overlooked the Sydney Harbour Bridge that cost a whopping $4,300 per night). And there was I, aged 14, struggling with my £2 pocket money.
My first reaction to all this was to rip his mother a new one. How can she not be held responsible for allowing her son to get away with all this under her watch. How dare she blame the banks for the actions of her son when it was her job to raise him. But after a little further research into this, it turns out she has a legit ax to grind with them. On many occasions she had contacted the banks pleading them to shut down her son’s accounts. But the banks had a Privacy Act in place that prevented them from discussing her child’s accounts.
“He was an intelligent boy who worked out how to cheat the system and play it for all it was worth,” she said. “As his parent and legal guardian, I begged the banks to stop giving him accounts and debit cards but each time I got nowhere because of the Privacy Act.”
As a result of all his underhanded schemes, the lad (who remains unnamed due to legal reasons), has spent the majority of his time in juvenile detention centers. His poor old mum has actually had to hand him over to police on 15 separate occasions.
Normally I like to end my WordPress posts with something witty, but this story is just gob-smacking. What the heck?