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Detroit Man Gambled Away $1.5M from ATM Error

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By Andrew Lu on June 21, 2012 7:06 AM

Ronald Page's Golden Ticket was his ATM card. Every time he went to an ATM, the Bank of America ATM allowed him to withdraw hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The retired Detroit man maintained about $100 in his account, but took out $1.5 million thanks to the ATM mistake.

So what do you do when you have access to unlimited funds and all the time in the world? You gamble.

Bank of America had a bank glitch in Ronald Page's account that allowed him to withdraw unlimited funds, reports ABC. Over an 18-day gambling spree in 2009, Page hit the Detroit-area casinos funding his gambling with the millions overdrawn.

Bank of America eventually discovered the ATM mistake and demanded that Page repay the funds. With the money in the casino's coffers, Page obviously could not repay. Page was charged with theft of bank funds and he pleaded guilty to the crime, reports ABC. He awaits sentencing and could face up to 15 months in prison for the crime.

Generally, theft involves someone intentionally stealing something that belongs to another. In Ronald Page's case, he withdrew money from his ATM (which is allowed) and took out an amount of money that the ATM okay'd. So where's the crime?

Having only $100 in his account, the argument is that Ronald Page should have known that overdrafting his account by millions of dollars was not right, even if the ATM machine kept on telling him it was okay.

Instead of fighting out his case in court, Page pleaded guilty. While he faces 15 months in prison, he could receive much less time given that it was a nonviolent offense and the nature of the crime. With the plea deal, there may be an implicit agreement that he only gets a couple months in jail, if any, for the ATM mistake and subsequent gambling spree.

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