At one point in 2012, Luke "Milky" Moore paid $40,000 to rent himself a brothel for four days. Two years prior, he was penniless, unemployed, and bracing himself for foreclosure. What happened in the interim is the subject of an Esquire piece by David Kushner, who explores the Australian's wild ride. It started with that near foreclosure. Kushner writes that Moore steeled himself for the final shoe to drop on July 15, 2010, the day his mortgage payment was set to auto-debit from his empty savings account with St. George bank. But the payment went through, with his account showing it was overdrawn. And then the next payment went through. His subsequent experiments—requesting transfers of $5,000 and $50,000 to his mortgage company—succeeded, with the bank either not noticing or not caring about the mounting overdraft. So he decided to live large.
The then-24-year-old moved to Surfers Paradise along Australia's Gold Coast, bought an Alfa Romeo, and started spending his days at the beach and his nights at bars and strip clubs. While he couldn't withdraw cash from St. George—the only way to facilitate the overdraft was by transfer—he realized he could request transfers to PayPal and then move the money to another Australian bank. And the method worked, until Dec. 12, 2012, when he was apprehended and charged with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception in connection with the overdraft, which tallied $1,671,201 with interest. He was sentenced to 4.5 years. But Moore didn't sit idly in prison. He set out to free himself by proving his actions didn't amount to "deception." And he actually succeeded. Read the incredible full story here. (Read more Longform stories.)