US soldier tried to defraud Microsoft founder

A US soldier who thought he could defraud one of the richest men in the world has ended up behind bars.

According to the FBI, Brandon Lee Price changed the address on a bank account held by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, then had a debit card sent to his Pittsburgh home.

Apparently he needed the cash to pay off his overdraft on his Armed Forces Bank account and personal expenses.

If the story is true, then Price seemed to think that if you are going to rip someone off, you might as well aim very high. Perhaps he thought with the huge amount of cash that Allen had in his bank account he might not notice.

Price called Citibank and changed the address on an account held by Allen from Seattle to Pittsburgh, then called back three days later to say he’d lost his debit card and asked for a new one to be sent to him. To his credit, Citibank was daft enough to do that.

The card was used to attempt a $15,000 Western Union transaction and make a $658.81 payment on the Armed Forces Bank loan account the day it was activated.

Investigators watched as he tried to use Allen’s card to buy computer games.

Price was listed as absent without leave from the Army and wanted as a deserter. He was arrested March 2 and ordered detained until April 2 unless the Army takes him into custody.

David Postman, a spokesman for Allen, told AP the fraud was detected by the bank which called the cops. Postman said that it was a reminder that anyone can be a victim of ID fraud.