Programmer Jailed After Withdrawing $1m Worth Of Free Money From ATMs

by : Matt Weston on : 07 Feb 2019 10:45

A bank software chief has been jailed after withdrawing a whopping 7 million yuan (over $1million USD) from ATMs operated by his employer.


According to the The South China Morning Post, the 43-year-old Qin Qisheng made over 1,358 withdrawals from November 2016 to January 2018 before Huaxia Bank realised what he was doing.

The bank’s system wasn’t properly recording cash withdrawals around midnight, with Qisheng suppressing alerts to the system that this was happening. It meant that any customers were able to take out money without it coming out of their accounts.

He was taking cash withdrawals from 5,000 to 20,000 yuan ($740-$2,965 USD) out each time from a dummy account that was used by the company to test its systems.


The programmer told bosses at the bank that he was testing the company’s security system and that the money taken was just resting in his account. That turned out to be not true, with some of the money being invested into stocks on the market.

Despite returning all the money to the bank before his arrest, Qisheng has been sentenced to over 10 years in prison with a 11,000 yuan fine.

The programmer probably would’ve got away with it if it wasn’t for a manual check detecting the irregular activity.

It was then that the findings were reported to the authorities. Just one less transaction and Qin Qisheng may have got away with one of the smartest bank heists in history!

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Matt Weston

Matt Weston is a lover of electric cars, artificial intelligence and space. From Cornwall, he's a UCLan graduate that still dreams of being a Formula One driver in the very near future. Previously work includes reporting for regional newspapers and freelance video for the International Business Times.

Topics: Technology


South China Morning Post
  1. South China Morning Post

    Chinese bank’s software chief jailed after finding way to withdraw US$1m in ‘free’ cash from ATMs