Luke Brett Moore, a young Australian, had just lost his job when he discovered his bank was mistakenly allowing him unlimited credit. It was too good an opportunity to miss. As he explains here, in his own words, he started spending and didn’t stop – until one day there was a knock on the door.
It seems unbelievable but my intention was never to take all the money from the St George Bank and not pay it back.
I was essentially waiting for the bank to contact me and say: “Hey you, I want this amount of money” and I would have gone from there.
Originally, in 2010, I just had a normal everyday banking account. My home loan, my health insurance and bills were coming out of it.
I had had a pretty bad car accident and my pay started going into another bank. I can’t remember the exact circumstances of why that happened.
The first week I was worried as there was no money to pay the mortgage. What was I going to do? But then the payment went through from my St George account and I thought, “Oh, OK.”
And then the next fortnight the next $500 (£296) payment of my mortgage went through. It went on and on like that for 12 months without the bank saying anything, but my account was becoming overdrawn.
About that time I rang my home loan company and said, “Hey, can you direct-debit $5,000 (£3,000) from my St George account?” And then a couple of days later I said $50,000. They were both approved.
I was shocked. I had found myself with access to an extraordinary large line of credit.
I bought my first car not long afterwards – an Alfa Romeo 156. It was the dodgiest car: the gearbox, motor and fuel injectors all went in it.
Then I got a Hyundai Veloster. It was one of those crazy three-door things with a glass roof. I bought that so I could drive to Sydney to buy a Maserati. It was only a $36,000 car. I mean it was a lovely car but it wasn’t a supercar by today’s standards.
It was a crazy time for me. I was a young and foolish 22-year-old and I wasn’t thinking particularly clearly.
I had just recovered from the accident and found myself unemployed for the first time since I was 14. I had broken up with my high school sweetheart after four years and I was looking to sort of start my life fresh somewhere else.
So I moved to Gold Coast. I flew up to Surfer’s Paradise one weekend for a holiday. And I got comfortable there and ending up staying.
It was pretty awesome. I had a good time up there that’s for sure. I was just doing what most young guys do when they’re that age and they’ve got a bucket load of cash – just having fun and partying.
I went to strip clubs and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on girls, alcohol, cocaine and whatever else.
I also got a fishing boat. I loved that. I got a £10 note by street artist Banksy. That was one of my treasured possessions, along with a drum skin signed by Amy Winehouse.