May 23, 2009

Can I Help The Next Person Please?

A New Zealand couple applied for a bank overdraft of $NZ10,000. That's about the same in CDN loonies. Anyway, the bank of course gave it to them, and helpfully added three zeros to the amount. Do your happy dance! Instant millionaires!

Depending on how the planets align, you can expect several different outcomes, I'm thinking. Standing at the insta teller, staring at the wee bit of paper with the balance amount running off the page, you charge into the bank, approach the teller and murmur "I think there's been a mistake." That'd be me. And most of you. Or maybe you're door number 2. Go home, dream a little dream, smile like a fool, go back in the morning and let them know. Okay, maybe you wait to see when they catch it. Ten mill is a lot; it'd be like someone taking one of my boys - eventually I'd notice, if only because there was food in the fridge.

But then, there's always that infinitesimal chance it happens to a guy like Leo Gao. You all know Leo. Well, you certainly know a Leo-like person. Gonna get rich, just watch, keep watching, keep watching, whaddya mean I'm getting a little old for this? Whaddya mean my ideas are drawing flies and I'm the only one who can see? It's a guaranteed hit! I'm gonna be rich!

Neighbours say Gao had long dreamed of being rich. Opening a gas station proved a tough go; an adjoining fish and chip shop (he was going to turn it into a Chinese fish and chip shop. What the hell is that?), but that didn't take. He owed money - dreamers seldom fly under their own pedal power. "Dreams of being rich" should be the number one red flag to any thinking person. His girlfriend, by all accounts, was an honest, beautiful girl. Well, okay, that was by her mother's account. But I'll bet my last buck she stuck by him because he'd weaved dreams of riches...gawd, chicks can be stupid.

They're on the run. He finally made his money. Interpol is chasing madly after them, though they're apparently running with family members. Yeah, that should speed things up and make it easier to hide. Cops aren't sure how they got the money out of the country ("it is likely that they thought taking it out from a cashpoint would attract comment" - I love this line. Imagine the guy ahead of you withdrawing several million dollars at an ATM), and have decided Gao had it transferred to an offshore account.

Now, explain this to me. Even if I had access to a bazillion dollars - how the hell do failed fish and chip shop owners know how to get an offshore account? "Hello, I'd like to set up an offshore account, here in this Offshore Account Store I noticed you run. I'd prefer the No Questions Asked account, the cheques with the sailboats - no, honey, we're not getting the teddybear ones - and my statements mailed to me."

Of course people are cheering them on, because after the bankers stole all your money, this is a fabulous way to get even. By cheering on some loser who is - wait for it - stealing more of your money.


Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

I read about this on my flight down to Venezuela and thought "This can't be true" or words to that effect. You read my mind exactly (well... not exactly or you would always be deleting my posts.) How does a guy who can't run a chip shop remove all that money from his bank account without leaving a trace? I would suspect there must be a trail of NZ dollar bills leading to Hansel and Gretel's house where he has bags of cash stashed in Red Riding Hood's grandma's closet. Like the failed Financial columnist from the NY times... maybe there's a Liar's Offshore Account application you can fill out on-line.

We actually had $18K dropped in our bank account by accidentally several years ago. We sat and waited for them to discover their mistake. It took me 3 days and 8 phone calls to make them take it back a month later. Before you get all teary eyed and wanting to hug me for being such a swell Canadian... they started charging us interest on it. But it makes a good story.

Especially after 2 or 3 margaritas.

May 23, 2009 9:41 AM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Re the off shore account thing, they most likely had one before the accidental payoff. Likely they were sending a bit of money back home for relatives. Reminds me of Steve Miller's song, "take the money and run."

May 23, 2009 12:24 PM  
Blogger DJ said...

We actually had a philosophical discussion over our morning coffee at work the other day and the general consensus was thus:

Hell Ya!

Convert the cash to gold or diamonds or something similar and head for the nearest no-extradition tropical country.

See ya on the beach!


May 23, 2009 10:44 PM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Tch, tch, tch, DJ

That roof of yours will be repossessed by the banking Lords. I hope you paid cash for it.

I travel to Grand Turk and the Turks and Caicos occasionally and I will be on the lookout for senior and seniorita Gao.

That will be after I buy my bottle of Rum that I always have to buy when I'm in Grand Turk. Big Black Dick.

I put on a surprise 50th birthday party for Catherine last October and at the dessert intermission we gave her the bottle of BBD and a card that said... "This better be the only time you see one of these, let alone touch one."

The Gaos can buy as much BBD as they please now. Watch your roof, DJ

May 23, 2009 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The roof is paid for, yes cash! I however noticed that no where did he mention taking the Darling Bride along to this beach.....hmmmmm

May 25, 2009 8:48 AM  

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