A rare example of humanistic altruism in the now much hated world of banking comes from Germany. Erika Schmidt, the manager of a bank branch in Germany was found to be transferring money from rich clients into the accounts of those who were heavily in debt. Her lawyer said that “she couldn’t bear to see my less-fortunate customers go hungry”.
Her aim was to stop the struggling accounts from being closed due to lack of funds. When these accounts became solvent again she would largely transfer the money back again. She took no money herself but was found to have transferred a total of 7.6 million Euros between December 2003 and February 2005.
Inevitably despite her interventions some clients never managed to become solvent again and so the bank lost 1.1 million euros due to the bad debt.
A court in Bonn was viewed the altruistic fraud leniently by handing out a 22 month suspended jail term.
It is reported that the manager lost her job and now lives off a small pension.Her lawyer said “She did it out of compassion for people and now she is as poor as a church mouse herself”
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