Money & Banking

Fri, 15 Feb, 2019Courtney Allan

Bank programmer jailed after stealing $1.5 million from ATMs

Bank programmer jailed after stealing $1.5 million from ATMs

A bank programmer in China has been jailed after stealing $1.4 million in cash.

The theft was due to Qin Qisheng noticing a loophole in Huaxi Bank’s system back in 2016.

As the 43-year-old worked as a senior programmer at the bank, he came to realise that withdrawals that were completed close to midnight weren’t being recorded properly.

After realising this, Qisheng inserted scripts into the system so he was able to “test” the issue without alerting staff.

He then made test withdrawals of 20,000 Yuan (NZD$4324) to a dummy account for almost a year before being caught. By January 2018, he had withdrawn almost 7 million Yuan (NZD$1.5 million) without notifying anyone what he was up to.

He was caught after depositing the funds into his own bank account, as well as investing some funds in the stock market.

Hauxi Bank accepted the claims that Qisheng was investigating the glitch and dropped the case after he returned the funds.

“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,” the South China Morning Post reported a bank representative as saying during the trial.

“We think this reason for not reporting is legitimate.”

However, even though the company dropped the charges, this was not enough to save Qisheng from 10-and-a-half years of jail time, as well as a fine of 11,000 Yuan (AUD$2378).

“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,” the judge said.

The flaw that caused Qisheng to be able to withdraw the funds has now been fixed.

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