Morality

Dan Saunders

I was driving to Sydney last November when Daniel Saunders called me. He had first contacted me in March 2013 via this website saying that he wanted to talk to me.

“I have a story, I would love to know your opinion and also if you think it would make a good book. I’ve always been a bit of a party guy and that’s the only reason I came across this, I’m not a computer whiz, I’m just an everyday bloke. Until of course, this happened….”
“This” was the story that finally appeared in the Good Weekend Magazine today.
He had taken the National Australia Bank for about $500 000 in four and a half months and now he wanted to come clean, he said.
For a long time I was sceptical, it’s taken 15 months to get this extraordinary tale in print. At first, I told him I wasn’t interested. I didn’t want to be responsible for Dan going to jail. We kept talking over months and I could tell he had been serious in his first message when he said:”I’m not looking for a moral compass here, I know what I did was wrong.”
Still, every instinct told me this was not a story that was in Dan’s best interests. If the bank had decided not to chase him, he should bless his luck and slink off into the night. A lawyer was more blunt after hearing the story: “They aren’t after him, considering it’s been nearly three years. Tell him to shut the f**k up.” I told Dan this many times but he was determined. He didn’t want a black cloud hanging over his life, he could never move on until this thing was resolved one way or another, even if he ended up in a jail cell. I told Dan that jail was not a place he should ever aspire to, even a short sentence could be life-changing and not in a good way.
He understood what the stakes were and was determined to press ahead with the story. Above all he didn’t want to become a crook, even though he had broken the law. It sounds like an artificial distinction when you have stolen half a million dollars but a man who wants to be punished is not a crook in my book. A crook would never ring up a journalist and confess to a crime and virtually demand to be exposed. If this was not resolved, he feared he could disappear into the moral abyss of crime.
“Walking around with the blueprint of a bank’s internal clock in your mind is a dangerous thing, my mind constantly entertains thoughts of other potential bank glitches. I ultimately want this to stop at some point,” he wrote me in an email last night.
“I want people to know how it really happened, I’m not a card skimmer, I overdrew my own accounts. At the end of the day Adam I’m just a worker, who loves a bet and a drink,” he wrote.
So, now the story is out there, who knows what will happen next. Dan feels like a weight has been lifted. It’s hard to believe the bank will do nothing but whatever consequences flow Dan is ready.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the queues at NAB’s ATMs might be a little longer today.
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6 thoughts on “Morality

  1. This was a beautifully written story that I stumbled across on The Age this evening as I sit in my living room, the heater on, a cold Melbourne night. Having read the his story in the article, I recognize that Daniel Saunders did some illegal and questionable things. But I won’t judge, I try not to be a judge when a day and age when people are so judgmental and hypocrites out there. I have to admit Dan’s story is, I found it to be, just so intriguing and its surprising how those series of events occurred. It does, indeed, seem magical or a gift from the universe. If it were a book, I would buy the first copy and get it signed. Dan’s story sounds like a true anti-hero story and whilst I do not encourage and do not condone disobeying the law, it does make for an entertaining story to read. The photos were a very nice touch and Adam Shand did a great job writing the article, simply brilliant. I do not judge Dan’s actions because, as there was a saying I heard recently in a religious show and coming from a religious background myself, the saying was “…we all have our crosses to bear…” and life sure is mysterious some times. I hope you don’t mind the religious references in this comment.All the best for you both for the future and God bless us all, I pray. – Nich

  2. Warrant issued for Saunders’ arrest but not making himself available? Doesn’t sound like he wants to be punished or get it over with…sounds to me as though he wants it to drag along as long as possible while he builds his public notoriety through media coverage. Despite the fact he has ‘confessed’ through your story and says he wants it dealt with, it’s not because he feels morally bad, it’s because he knows it will catch up with him eventually.
    To me, Daniel Saunders is just another conman who has broken the law, fails to show true remorse for his actions, and is seeking attention. You’ve given him that attention.

    • That’s why he waited 3 years before he went to the media because he wanted attention? Update!! Saunders was arrested on Oaks Day and is eagerly awaiting his chance to tell his story in court on februray 4, the national australia bank it seems is very reluctant to solve or talk about any of its problems. How about you have a crack at the bank too, because there are clearly bigger issues here than Dan Saunders.

      • I’m not saying the banks aren’t at fault, we all know what they are like and I’m not saying they are innocent victims.
        My problem with this article is that Saunders is portraying himself with a ‘woe be me’ attitude, that he has tried to fix it and make amends. If he was truly remorseful he would have fronted up to the police and made a confession. Everyone knows that a confession to a journalist means nothing in a court of law or in criminal evidence, so anything he has said in Adam’s piece is worthless in the eyes of the law.
        The true test of whether this scumbag is remorseful or not will be whether her cooperates with Police, pleads guilty and cops his fair whack. I would bet that he doesn’t.
        Interesting story, but Saunders has been painted as a different character than he really is. Adam is better than that.

  3. You haven’t sold me Cameron, clearly he has moral issues, I’m not debating that, Whenever the Banks incur fees or make decisions for financial gain they don’t seem to be held to the same ‘moral’ code….but with Saunders it seems just because he is an individual, ‘ethics’ seem to be the number one issue. I think the Bank is fair game, just my opinion.

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