Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Lucrative ATM Loophole That Made This Man Millions: Wild Spending Spree On Private Jets, High-Class Hookers And Horses (And It Was Easier Than You'd Think)

  • Dan Saunders, 29, discovered a 'loophole' in his bank's ATM system
  • Former barman lived like a millionaire during wild spending spree
  • He spent thousands on private jets, hookers and gambling
  • In just four and a half months he managed to steal more than $1.6 million
  • There is now a warrant for his arrest, three and a half years after the con
A country barman has experienced life as a millionaire after he discovered a 'loophole' in his bank's ATM system.

Dan Saunders, from Wangaratta in north-eastern Victoria, lived the high life for about four and a half months in February 2011, spending wildly on expensive escorts, private jets, exclusive restaurants and gambling.

The 29-year old-stumbled across a technical fault in the National Australia Bank's ATM system which meant he had access to free money whenever or wherever he wanted.

'I've never felt more alive than when I was charging on my credit card,' Mr Saunders told Australia's Current Affair.

'With the NAB card I could be anyone I wanted to be, go anywhere I wanted to go, do anything as long as I had the card in my back pocket. I felt like a king.'

'I felt like a rock star, probably looked like a fat, white Kanye West, but you felt like you were Kanye West,' he said.

In an exclusive interview with ACA, he divulged how it all unfolded one night out for beers with mates and how he quickly went on a wild spending spree, with money that was not his.

Mr Saunders had just moved to Wangaratta in country Victoria and one evening in February, 2011 he was out drinking with friends.

Like most people he needed to withdraw cash from the ATM, but when he tried, he realised he just had $3 in his savings account, so what he did was transfer $200 from his credit card.

'It said transaction cancelled but it worked,' he said.

$200 richer, Mr Saunders happily went back to the pub to continue drinking with his friends.

But it wasn't until later that night that the barman, who earned a mere $700 a week, decided to try his luck again.

He tried to check his account balance at another ATM but it was just registering 'balance unavailable' so he again transferred $200 and it worked before he pushed his withdrawals out to $2000, the limit of his credit card and went home.

Because ATM are known to go offline at certain times, where people can transfer funds but not get a balance for their account, the money he was withdrawing was not registering.

He didn't stop there and within a couple of weeks, Saunders had transferred $20,000.

With his new found riches, rumours started to make their way around the small town and when he began punting heavily with a mate while at work one night at the pub, his luck turned.

'Turns out that we turned over more than the TAB would turn over in three weeks in one night so that alerted the TAB to the fact that we'd done that,' he told ACA.
'I told them it was friend taking the bets but they didn't want to take that on board and they got the publican to fire me as a result.'

To make matters worse, rumours made their way to his girlfriend, that he was spending money all over town and she then dumped him via text message.

But instead of wallowing in his losses, he decided to go back to Melbourne, get some advice from friends and kept his bank balance, rather healthy.

'On one hand you've lost your girlfriend, lost your job, but on the other hand, hey, you've got unlimited funds. Let's smash it up for a bit let's sort things out,' he said.

While he believed it was a luxury that would be short lived, Mr Saunders kept withdrawing more and more money every day and there his lifestyle as a country barman dramatically transformed into that of a millionaire.

He created many different alias' to new friends, including being a poker player, a surgeon and even an investment banker, living the dream of a high roller.

He then discovered another way to trick the ATM and double his money, 
transferring money from the ATM's 'credit' account option to his Mastercard, even though he only had one credit card.

In May that year, Saunders was believed to have already stolen $1.6 million of the banks money on his credit card.

But like anyone who is cheating the system, Saunders soon started felling guilty about his adventures and began to see a psychologist.

It was in June, four and a half months after making his costly discovery, that he stopped making continuous transfers.

He told ACA he then called the bank, who told him it was under police investigation and they wouldn't talk to him.

'It was never about the actual money it was just about the journey.'

Three and a half years later and Mr Saunders had still got off scot free for his dealing with ATM's, still blazay about funding his lavish lifestyle with money that wasn't his own.

'I've overdrawn my own accounts if that makes me a crook that makes me a crook,' he said.

It wasn't until just last week that police issued a warrant for his arrest and continue to look for Mr Saunders, who is now suddenly missing in action.

No comments:

Post a Comment