Couple arrested after splurging £5m that was accidentally paid to them

Couple arrested after splurging £5m that was accidentally paid to them
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A couple was arrested after splurging, gambling and living the high life after finding £5.2 million in their bank account because of an accidental error.

It’s everyone’s dream to check your online banking and find that you’ve got a couple of spare million kicking around, but for New Zealand couple Hui “Leo” Gao and Kara Hurring, it actually came true.

The bank’s error came about when Gao had applied for a £52,000 overdraft to help with his petrol station in Rotorua, New Zealand that was struggling.

His overdraft request was approved by Westpac bank, but an error was made and more zeros were added to the amount, making Gao an accidental multi-millionaire.

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With the money, Gao and his partner Hurring went on the run, enjoying the cash and splurging on gambling and 5-star hotels.

Before being arrested after an international manhunt for the pair was launched, the couple managed to withdraw and spend £3.5million before being arrested by police two years after first going on the run.

A former flatmate of the couple revealed she was living with them at the time that Gao discover the money in his bank account.

According to The Sun, Bianca Taute said: “Gao was ecstatic, he jumped on the bed yelling ‘we’re f*****g rich’ and yahooing and woohooing.”

The following day, Gao and Hurring had an expensive meal and Gao treated himself to an expensive bottle of French brandy.

Along with their daughter Leena, they then went on the run and left everything, including their pet kitten, behind.

Gao withdrew money into multiple different bank accounts and they headed for Macau, where they burned through lots of cash in the famous casinos. Gao lost £88k at Wynn's International Casino.

The bank eventually realised its error and an international manhunt saw all the couple’s overseas bank accounts blocked leading to the breakdown of their relationship.

In May 2010, after 20 months on the run, Hurring handed herself into the police and returned to New Zealand. Gao was caught later after travelling to Hong Kong and being arrested and extradited.

Gao pleaded guilty to theft and admitted he behaved “like a d**k”. He served 16 months in prison and was set free in 2013.

Hurring claimed she was told by Gao that he had won the lottery and claimed she was innocent. She was found guilty of theft, money laundering and attempting to dishonestly use documents. Hurring got nine months of home detention and was made to pay back approximately £6,000.

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