I stole £1million from a dodgy cash machine and blew it all on jets, escorts and holidays – then I handed myself in

A FORMER bartender revealed how he pinched a whopping £2million from a bank after stumbling across a dodgy ATM glitch.

Dan Saunders spent thousands on expensive dinners, private jets and even paid for his pals’ uni fees during a wild five-month bender – all before letting the world in on his elaborate scam.

REDDITDan Saunders was a bartender before his life turned upside down[/caption]

He stumbled upon an ATM glitch where he ended up stealing almost £2million from a bankA Current Affair

CURRENT AFFAIRThe funds fuelled his new life in the fast lane with booze, jets and girls[/caption]

Current AffairDan lived a life of luxury after discovering the dodgy ATM glitch[/caption]

The Aussie claimed he has never had a cop interview or ever met with bank officials over the illegal swindle.

It was only when he turned himself in that he received jail time – but even then, the magistrates were reportedly left baffled.

Now he fields thousands of messages from fraudsters and scammers every day desperately trying to find out how he managed to pull it off.

Dan told The Sun he felt like he had a “seven-day free trial” at being rich as he partied his life away with mountains of cash.

“I thought it would last a day, then I thought maybe a week and then there were points three months in where I thought this could last forever,” he said.

“I uncovered something so big that the bank was never going to talk about it.

“I don’t feel guilt about it. I saw an opportunity and I smashed them as hard and long as I could.”

It all started in February 2011 on a night out in Dan’s hometown of Wangaratta – about 155 miles northeast of Melbourne – when he struck lucky at a cash machine.

The 29-year-old had gone to get cash out to pay for a round of drinks – but with just over £1 in savings, he was forced to transfer £100 over from his credit account.

But the National Australia Bank ATM spat out his card and the words “transaction cancelled” stared back at him.

Dan put his card back into the machine to check his account balance – and it reportedly said he was now £100 in credit.

He withdrew the cash and continued on with his drinking session.

On the way home, the merry man tried the ruse on the same ATM again – and it worked.

Dan soon discovered that the ATMs became disconnected from the bank’s network in the early hours of the morning.

And this allowed him to create “infinite money” by transferring cash between his two accounts.

The transaction would only register with the bank the following day and push him into debt – but he could always withdraw more after midnight.

But you could always stay ahead of this by staying one day ahead with his sneaky transfers.

In the following months, Dan carried on using the “easy money” glitch and his transactions soon tarted to spiral out of control.

And with the inability to resist temptation, the man would become an “illegitimate” millionaire.

Over the years, his mythical heist has taken all shapes and forms and it was commonly reported that he withdrew £1.6million cash from a single ATM.

But Dan claims he withdrew and spent more than £2million from many cash machines – and the true amount will never be known.

“I worked out between 12am and 1am I could transfer any amount of money up to six figures at a time, 999,000, from my credit card to my savings account,” Dan told The Sun.

“The desired amount would stay in my savings account for 24 hours before it would reverse.

“But if I did another transaction before the previous one then I could always keep it in credit.

“I just had to remember how much money I had spent. And then I always made sure I transferred just a little bit more each day.”

The glitch reportedly worked on every ATM in the NAB network.

Dan would get his money through a mix of cash withdrawals, internet transactions and over-the-counter handouts.

According to the NAB, customers are currently able to withdraw up to roughly £1,000 a day, per card.

At the time, the threshold was about £500 so to work around it Dan claimed he would go into a bank and get the money face-to-face.

He said: “I would go into the bank and ask how much money I had in my savings account.

“She might pull it up and say ‘oh you’ve got 2.7million’ and then I’d be able to ask her – can I please get £50,000 out and she’d give it to me in cash.”


The bank glitch has never been explained – and the NAB has never commented on it.

Dan said: “The bank was seemingly down at that point, or the ATM wasn’t speaking to the main bank but regardless it would honour the transfer.

“I don’t know why that worked, but that’s how it happened.”

The closest Dan ever came to getting caught was when he got greedy.

He said: “I had a few calls from the bank’s security branch saying we can see you tried to get $900,000 out four times at an ATM last night.

“I would say ‘how the hell would you get $900,000 out of an ATM’ and they would say ‘yeah there are limits’.

“So we would laugh and then I’d say I was drunk and must have been at the ATM pressing the wrong buttons.”

At one stage, the crafty man was spending so much that he tried to win it all back gambling.

He said: “It was completely nuts. It was the best and worst plan in the world because it just dug the hole deeper and deeper.”

Dan admitted he always thought he could get caught and the anxiety had slowly started to creep in.

But after coming out unscathed from his first brush with authorities, his spending began to ramp-up.

Dan went on a spending spree and even chartered out a private jet

He wined and dined, reportedly spending more than £7,000 on dinnersA Current Affair

The Aussie also travelled the world

In the next four to five months, Dan’s morals would be thrown out the window.

He told The Sun his spending could have surpassed £2million.

He said: “The best thing in the world for me was paying for everyone else’s stuff.

“If I had cash in my pocket and I walked past a bar, I’d throw someone money behind it.”

It has been reported that Dan enjoyed the riches and was living like a movie star.

He dabbled in high-end call girls, plush hotels, raucous parties, Beluga caviar and even wore tailored Hugo Boss suits.

Dan also paid off some of his friends’ university fees and sent a pal to study in France.

His most extravagant purchase was chartering a 20-seat private jet, where he flew his mates to an island in Asia.

He said: “People just gave me their dreams and I fulfilled them.

“Everyone in my family was looked after, everyone got a bit.”


Every day at midnight, Dan’s alarm clock would routinely ring.

His life was now consumed by the unlimited transfers and he knew “it was inevitable that it was going to come crashing down”.

“It came to the point where I was worrying about it more than I was enjoying taking more money out,” he said.

“I mean to live with adrenaline for that long it just became so many numbers in my head, so much anxiety.”

Dan contemplated moving overseas – but in the end he was wracked with internal guilt and sought help.

He said: “My lawyer said he couldn’t help me.

“I said ‘it is not about that – it is about me drawing a line in the sand for myself and say that was the wrong thing to do.”

Dan claimed he called it quits after deciding he had done everything he wanted to do.

He said: “When I turned the tap off on the money, I told my friends and they were upset.

“So I said listen this is it, here’s the internet banking, open it up and transfer the money wherever you want.

“Sitting around with your mates, passing your laptop around transferring unlimited money to wherever – that’s the level of crazy it got to.

“In what world does that happen.”

He confided in his therapist what had happened – who told him to hand himself in.

And in June 2011, he called the bank and admitted what he had done.

Officials at NAB reportedly told Dan the cops would contact him.

But they never did.

One month later, he called back again and was met with the same response.

Three years later, Dan still had heard nothing, so he decided to share his story with the press.

After a few newspaper splashes and an exposé on Australia’s flagship program A Current Affair, the authorities finally came knocking.

He said: “You could say I forced their hand to do something.

“I was very happy to handle this in house but the only reason it resulted in mass media coverage was because no one would have a genuine conversation with me.”

It’s ridiculous to think I may have never been caught for this

Dan Saunders

In November 2014, Dan was finally arrested and charged with 111 offences relating to fraud, deception and theft.

He was thrown into an Australian maximum security prison for one year.

However, Dan said the whole incident still mystified him.

He said: “In the trial, they didn’t even bring anything to court because they didn’t want to talk about it.

“Basically the bank doesn’t want to put a round figure on it, so I’ll refrain from doing that too.”

He added: “My friends wondered what would happen, for example if their uni debts would come back, and I would say don’t worry about it I won’t mention it in the interview.

“Well it never got to that point, no one ever asked me anything.

“I think they just wanted it to go away and not investigate it further.

“Me saying I was guilty was enough.”

While Dan willingly handed himself in – he has shown little sign of regret.

He said: “Look, I am no saint, I took a lot of money off the bank and loved it.

“I didn’t feel guilty because I knew who I was defrauding. But I knew that it wasn’t right.”

Dan’s unbelievable story has become the subject of many podcasts and is even rumoured to be slated as a Disney flick.

Due to the Proceeds of Crime Act, he will never see a cent for it but Dan believed having the truth out there was worth more than anything.

He said: “It’s ridiculous to think I may have never been caught for this.

“I don’t believe I am the only one, I am just the only one who has told the truth about it.”

The Sun has reached Victorian Police and NAB for comment.

The exposé on A Current Affair that would lead to Dan’s arrestA Current Affair

Dan SaundersIn five months, Dan allegedly spent millions[/caption]

He spent one year in jail for his illegal actions

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