If you employ people who keep track of your money, it's never a good idea to make them unhappy. Huaxia Bank in Beijing should have remembered this before they aggravated Qin Qisheng, who discovered a loophole in their ATM programs that allowed him to become quite the wealthy man.
While working at the bank, Qisheng realized that ATM withdrawals made around midnight did not register on their system. Instead of reporting the issue, he added code to the bank's software which would stop any "suspicious activity" alerts and began taking advantage of the glitch.
Qisheng made a test account and ran test withdrawals of "5,000 yuan to 20,000 yuan."
His behavior was noticed after 14 months of taking out free money, by which point the employee had taken out "7 million yuan (£800,000)."
When he was found out, Qisheng claimed that he was only taking out the money to test the bank's system...despite the fact that some of it was then used to invest in the stock market.
Surprisingly, Huaxia Bank believed his explanation and asked to drop all charges after Qin returned the money.
Authorities, however, chose to press charges against Qisheng anyway, and brought the case to trial. He was sentenced to 10.5 years in prison as well as a fine of 11,000 yuan.
Qin defended himself by saying:
"The customer generally would not report to the bank, [so] we were not informed about this situation. The problem was definitely there, the bank just couldn't find the reason."
Huaxia Bank also came to Qin's defense during the trial:
"Qin Qisheng said that the matter was complicated and involved lots of work. He believed the bank would not pay attention even if he reported it... We think this reason for not reporting is legitimate."
The sentencing judge didn't buy Qin and the bank's stories, however:
"On the one hand, [the bank] said that the accused's behaviour was in violation of the rules. On the other hand he said that he could conduct relevant tests. This is self-contradictory."
This entire ordeal has led Huaxia to fix the loophole, so no one will ever be able to take out free withdrawals again. At least Qin lived it up while he could!