Welfare recipient withdraws thousands

July 7, 2012 at 5:31 PM
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BELFAST, Northern Ireland, July 7 (UPI) -- A man on welfare in Northern Ireland made 80 trips to an automated teller machine during a computer crash, officials said.

The next day, sources told The Belfast Telegraph, he went to the Ulster Bank to collect his benefits. He allegedly got $65,000 from one ATM in Belfast.

Ulster Bank, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland, all in the RBS group, were affected by a computer glitch June 19, the Telegraph said. The problem appears to have hit Ulster Bank hardest.

While computer systems were scrambled, some bank customers discovered they could make continued withdrawals as long as their accounts had a positive balance when they made the first one and no single withdrawal was bigger than their balance.

As for the Belfast man, believed to be a foreign national, a Police Service of Northern Ireland spokeswoman said it is up to the bank whether to prosecute him.

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