Christine Jiaxin Lee, who splurged on luxury items after Australian bank Westpac accidentally transferred AUD $4.6 million ($3.4 million) into her account, has pleaded not guilty.
Lee, 21, a Malaysian chemical engineering student who has been living in Australia for five years on a student visa, arrived at her hearing in Downing Centre Court on Tuesday.
Hugo Aston, the lawyer representing the 21-year-old, told Daily Mail Australia that they would be “vigorously defending the charges” of dishonestly taking financial advantage by deception and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime.
“We feel confident our client will be acquitted,” said Aston, adding that Lee’s family traveled all the way from Malaysia to offer her their support through the legal process.
Although members of Lee’s family were not present in court on Tuesday, Aston said they are “fully supportive of her. We are very much a united team.”
Lee’s lawyer also said she is planning her exit and return to her homeland once the case is closed.
Westpac representative Matt Tregoning, from the bank’s investigations area, said he would like to see “justice.”
Lee was arrested in May by Australian immigration police at Sydney Airport as she was attempting to return to Malaysia.
In 2012, Westpac had mistakenly given the engineering student an unlimited overdraft during a processing error.
It wasn’t until July 2014 that Lee realized she had the credit on her account and then reportedly went on a shopping spree for the next 11 months. She allegedly spent more than $164,000 in one day at a Christian Dior store in Sydney.
We reported in May that she had spent $2.5 million of the $3.4 million deposit within one year on luxury handbags and cash transfers.
In April 2015, a senior manager was notified of the error and made multiple attempts to contact Lee, demanding she take responsibility for the missing millions.
She previously claimed that her parents were the ones who transferred the money into her account.
Lee, who is in her third year of school, was living in a $3,120-a-month sub-penthouse apartment with a view Sydney Harbor with her boyfriend at the time, Vincent King.
“They gave it to her. But she wouldn’t necessarily have broken the law,” the judge of the case said back in May, adding that Lee would have to give back the millions she spent to Westpac.