The fraud conviction of a 29-year-old Australian, Luke Moore, was overturned this week after The New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal ruled that “while Mr. Moore had taken the money, he had not been deceptive and ruled his conviction a mistake,” as reported by the Daily Mail.
Moore was said to have appropriated 2.1 million Australian dollars ($1.6 million) before being caught and is now living with his parents, reportedly broke, and studying for a legal career.
In 2010, when he was 22-years-old, claiming Centrelink benefits, and not working, an error on the part of his bank was noticed by Luke Moore. Australia had originally sentenced the man to a lengthy prison term for obtaining financial advantage by deception and dealing proceeds of a crime. He went to jail in 2015 for five months before being granted bail, and now, his freedom.
Moore’s story was said to begin when he applied for overdraft with his Complete Freedom checking account with St. George, as reported by the New York Post.
By the end of the first year, the Australian man found that his account was $9,000 in the red, yet no matter how much more money he tried to withdrawal, the bank did not stop him, or set any limit.
The access to limitless cash appears to have affected the man, with reports stating that he began funneling funds into accounts with other institutions, which he then used to lavish himself with expensive cars, vacations, and even a yacht.
Luke Moore’s booty was said to include a Maserati worth $169,000 and a Stessl boat worth $54,000, among several other purchases that ranged in value from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The young Australian’s tastes were said to evolve to include an appetite for rare collectibles, including a print by internationally renowned street artist Banksy; autographed records from Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, and Michael Jackson; and an NBA jersey, autographed by former Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls pro, Michael Jordan.
The Australian was said to have traveled extensively using the bank’s money, with destinations like Thailand and Australia’s Gold Coast being named. At least some of the funds withdrawn from Luke Moore’s overdraft account were said to have been used to pay his day-to-day expenses, including insurance and mortgage payments.
When asked if he missed his high-rolling lifestyle, Luke Moore was said to have panned the existence, allowing that he held fond memories of “the cocaine, the strippers and fast cars.”
Moore ultimately misappropriated close to $1.6 million and lived an ill-gotten existence for close to two years before police were able to finally catch up with him.
“I had to give everything back and I now drive a shoebox Falcon but I’m happier this way as I’ve realised my family and friends are my biggest treasures,” Luke Moore was quoted by the Daily Mail.
Today, the Australian man is said to eat cheap instant noodle dishes and drive around his hometown in a car worth $800. The Sun reported that he continues “readjusting to life” and has had enough of living in the fast lane and being seen in “flash cars.”
When adjudicating the NSW man’s case, it was reported that the court found that his initial conviction had been a “mistake” on the grounds that despite the fact that Mr. Moore helped himself to an astonishing amount of money that he could not reasonably expect to pay back, the bank made no effort to stop him, and he made no effort to deceive them.
Luke Moore “had not been deceptive” when dealing with his accounts with St. George, the Daily Mail wrote.
[Featured Image by Lorado/iStock]