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Man gets $1.5m in ATM error... and then gambles it away

Ronald Page now faces 15 months in prison after being unable to repay a bank which accidentally lent him $1.5 million.

A DETROIT MAN faces 15 months in jail, and a court order to pay $1.5 million to his bank, after a glitch allowed him to withdraw unlimited cash from his bank account – which he then lost to his gambling habit.

Roland Page had kept an average balance of around $100 in an account which was then subject to a Bank of America glitch – which classified his account as “pay all”, with access to unlimited funds.

ABC News reports that once he became aware of this error, in August 2009, he withdrew $1,543,104 (€1.21 million) within 17 days – but sadly appears to have blown it all on a gambling habit.

ABC cites court documents which indicate that Page was a frequent gambler in both his native Detroit and in Las Vegas in 2009 and 2010 – and used his account to manage his winnings and losses, with transactions usually between $2,000 and $50,000.

Because of the error, however, he was able to withdraw $312,000 from one ATM in a Detroit casino, and continued to withdraw over $50,000 at a time, for over a fortnight, until the bank noticed the error.

Having then asked him to repay the $1.5 million he had borrowed without authorisation, Bank of America says he has so far refused to repay it, and he appears to be unable to do so.

A sentencing memorandum filed by local prosecutors said the bank’s error had allowed Page to “lose a significant amount of money that was not even his in the first place”.

“The fact that defendant acted on an impulse does not minimise the seriousness of his conduct and the need for a custodial sentence.”

Prosecutors had also recommended that Page be barred from any gambling activity, or access to racing tracks and other gambling venues.

Read: Could Ireland ever become a totally cash-free country?

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