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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Sunday 22 January 2017


A Chinese man who last week opened an account with a Changsha city bank was wrongly credited with around £142 million. Instead of investing in many thousands of gold plated copies of Breaking Law, he returned to the bank three hours later to alert them to the error. No, he is not being investigated for insanity but was rewarded by the bank with a packet of cigarettes and around £24 in cash.

Could he have kept the money? I am not that good on Chinese law but I fancy not. If it had happened here, the answer is NO. If you know that money which has wrongly come your way was not intended for you and you spend  it then that's a crime. Sometimes, though, a bank or building society account may be wrongly credited and you just don't notice it or you believe you are entitled to the money. If you spend it that's not a crime because you have not acted dishonestly. Even better, you may not have to give the money back where the spending has gone on something you would not otherwise have bought. Take a look at chapter 28 of Breaking Law and see my 13 October 2016 post PPI Payments:Hands off.