Couple spent £3.5MILLION on casinos, 5-star hotels & shopping spree after money was accidentally paid into their account

FOR A struggling petrol station proprietor with cash woes it appeared like all his desires had come true when £5million appeared in his checking account.

What initially had been a mortgage of £52,000 had a number of zeros added to it by a dozy financial institution clerk, making Hui ‘Leo’ Gao yell “we’re f***ing’ wealthy” as he and his girlfriend got down to take pleasure in each minute of it.


Leo Gao abruptly discovered himself a really wealthy manCredit score: Christine Cornege – ODT
Kara Hurring and Gao went on the run with the cash


Kara Hurring and Gao went on the run with the moneyCredit score: TRACEY ROBINSON/FAIRFAX NZ
Hurring took her daughter Leena along with them


Hurring took her daughter Leena together with themCredit score: Occasions

Gao and Kara Hurring went on the run Bonnie and Clyde type, changing into people heroes as they blew their money on playing and residing the excessive life in five-star resorts.

Round £3.5million of the entire money was withdrawn or spent by the pair on their lavish spree.

The couple’s rollercoaster journey started when Gao utilized for an overdraft with Westpac financial institution to assist his enterprise in Rotorua, New Zealand.

A former flatmate of the couple recalled later she noticed “numerous zeros” when she checked out Gao’s account on-line because it confirmed a $10 million (£5.2 million) overdraft.

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He saved refreshing the web page nevertheless it saved displaying, prompting wild celebrations.

Bianca Taute mentioned: “Gao was ecstatic, he jumped on the mattress yelling ‘we’re f*****g wealthy’ and yahooing and woohooing.”

The next night time the couple celebrated with a slap-up meal, which Gao washed down with a bottle of French brandy.

Inside hours they have been on the run together with her daughter Leena, leaving the whole lot behind – together with their pet kitten.

The couple first went to Auckland the place Gao transferred £260,000 out of his account and commenced making an attempt to cover the cash.

In complete, Gao used 23 financial institution accounts and 39 transfers to maneuver the cash abroad to stop authorities from getting their palms on the money.

In a number of installments, he transferred £3.5 million earlier than the couple and their daughter fled to China.

Gao and Hurring first ended up on the playing hub of Macau, the place they opened accounts with native casinos and went on a playing blow out.

She deposited £178,000 in a “gamers account” on the glitzy Wynn’s Worldwide On line casino for use for playing, meals and lodging.

At one level, she misplaced $101,000 (£88k) within the on line casino because the couple burned their approach by way of the money.

An extra £1.1million was transferred to the identical Macau on line casino and this time the “participant’s account” was within the identify of Gao’s father, Alex Wang.

However by Could the financial institution turned conscious of the error and alerted authorities who issued an Interpol alert for the lacking couple.


Because the pair started to be coated in media, the general public appeared to have warmed to the Robin Hood vibe of the story and so they turned minor celebrities.

Some supporters even arrange a Fb web page known as We Assist Leo Gao and his 10 Million {Dollars} – Run Leo Run.

The hapless clerk was fired for his or her error however the harm had been performed and the race was on to get the money again.

The couple continued to dwell the excessive life with their sudden wealth.

Hurring flew her sister Aroha to Hong Kong the place they went on a purchasing spree.

Aroha mentioned she had no thought how her sister had come into such an enormous amount of cash till she noticed a information report in China.

“I freaked out,” she mentioned. “She instructed me the $10 million had been put in Leo’s account by mistake.”

By now the connection had turned bitter as police drained their offshore accounts and five-star resorts gave option to a hand-to-mouth existence on the run.

Lastly in Could 2010, Hurring contacted New Zealand police providing to return dwelling.


She might now not depend on Gao for help and he had left her little cash and after 20 months on the run was arrested by police when she landed at Auckland airport.

Gao was protected as he remained in mainland China, which has no extradition treaty with New Zealand.

However when he stepped throughout the border into Hong Kong – which does have a treaty – the Interpol discover was triggered and he was instantly arrested.

Gao then ultimately agreed to return again to New Zealand to face the music.

He pleaded responsible to theft, admitting to the courtroom he acted “like a dick”.

Gao was launched from jail in 2013 after serving 16 months behind bars.

However Hurring maintained her innocence, insisting Gao defined his new discovered wealth by telling her she he had gained the lottery.

However she was discovered responsible of 25 counts of theft and three counts of making an attempt to dishonestly use paperwork and two counts of cash laundering.

She was sentenced to 9 months dwelling detention and made to pay again spherical £6000.


Gao was by all accounts an formidable however unsuccessful businessman who had run his enterprise into the bottom with Kara serving to out at no cost.

His lawyer Ron Mansfield mentioned the temptation of such a lot of cash was of Biblical proportions.

“Your Honour, some say the best temptation was confronted by Adam and Eve within the Backyard of Eden,” mentioned Mansfield.

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“However these are trendy instances for a person attempting to maintain the doorways of his small enterprise open, £5.13 million positioned in his checking account was a really nice temptation.”

The couple’s escapades have been made right into a 2019 movie ‘Runaway Millionaires’ based mostly Hurring’s account of what occurred.

Gao and Hurring's escapade was made into a film


Gao and Hurring’s escapade was made into a movieCredit score: Fearless Productions
Gao after being arrested in Hong Kong


Gao after being arrested in Hong KongCredit score: Getty
His garage was struggling when suddenly became and accidental millionaire


His storage was struggling when abruptly turned and unintentional millionaireCredit score: Getty

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