IT Law

PayPal accounting error creates short-term billionaire

Thanks to an accounting error by the online payment service, PayPal, US citizen Chris Raynolds was temporarily able to call himself the richest man in the world. Naturally, the jubilation was short-lived.

PayPal accounting error creates short-term billionaire ©-asrawolf-Fotolia

PayPal accounting error creates short-term billionaire ©-asrawolf-Fotolia

PayPal accounting error

Who doesn’t dream of owning so much money, that they can buy whatever they want?

This is a dream which came true for the 56-year-old American, Chris Raynolds, when he woke up one morning to find an e-mail stating he had an account balance of 92,233,720,368,547,800 US dollars. However, his joy was short-lived!

After initially thinking it was a mistake, Raynolds checked his PayPal account and discovered that he in fact had a balance of zero, the US daily newspaper “Daily News” reports.

PayPal admits mistake

PayPal immediately admitted the mistake and offered to make a donation to a charity of Raynolds’ choice. Raynolds has chosen not to divulge which charity he has chosen and how much was donated.

The incident follows a mistake made by PayPal in June 2013, where customers received e-mails stating they had won 500 euros. Similarly to the current case, the payment service claimed to have made a technical error and asserted that the e-mails were invalid.

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Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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