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$100 Billion USD oops (wikipedia.org)
18 points by SmokeyJones on Dec 14, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 18 comments

I wonder more why employees who sold shares were prosecuted. It just screwed up world.

It’s also illegal to take “almost free” gasoline at a pump that’s erroneously listed $0.02/gal. While one would pay the unrealistically low price listed on the pump, one knows — or rather, a reasonable person would know — that it’s an error. Benefitting from a such a pricing error is illegal and technically theft. One is legally required to pay the fair market value for obtained goods, or return the goods that were received in such circumstances.

So what exactly constitutes an error then? Are then people legally held responsible if gas prices were accidentally set a few pennies below the typical market value? How can someone prove an error like this? Otherwise you could go around selling products at an "accidentally" low price, but then demanding compensation.

> So what exactly constitutes an error then?

It's standard contract law. Every time you purchase anything, you're making a legally binding contract, even buying a sandwich at a shop. Under centuries old contract law, there must be a "meeting of the minds", both parties must understand what they're getting into. If one person makes a obvious mistake (e.g., pricing gas at $0.02/gallon), there is clearly no meeting of the minds, the contract is void, and the seller can ask the buyer for their money back.

In what country / jurisdiction are you claiming this is the case?

I work in finance and if I did that, getting fired and prosecuted is totally expected. I would also expect that my reputation would be tarnished and my coworkers would mock me for my stupidity. I would have troubles getting hired in the industry again (even without prosecution). I say this without exaggeration.

I'm completely surprised that 16 people tried to get away with it!

Well when I give money to a company accidentally it is immediately in their coffers and being used, and takes weeks/months/years to return depending on the company and amount, with no punishment for the company.

Why would an employee expect different treatment if they believe the laws are just?

Are you a company? I mean come on, let's be realistic. If you accidentally pay a company money and ask for it back it goes through a reasonable process to assess your request. You probably start by going to customer service, CS then refers it to finance, finance has to identify the transaction, check that it's a genuine mistake, has to account for that in their systems, authorize a refund, and pay the money. Each step in that probably involves a different person. So yes, it takes time. If a company pays you money you go through the same process. The difference is that because you're not operating on a large scale all of those steps can be done by you, very quickly. If you were receiving tens of thousands of payments per day, all from different people for different reasons then we'd expect you to take the same amount of time to refund. It's not that companies are necessarily treated differently, it's that they're treated in a way that is equal, but not the same.

> Why would an employee expect different treatment if they believe the laws are just?

Because they don't know the law, and they think they're brilliant and the first person to come up with such a scheme.

I assume that publically traded companies can't legally create new shares of stock without announcing it to their investors, and so trading on that nonpublic information sounds 1)insanely illegal and 2)very frustrating to rewind for regulators.

The numbers in the article don't add up. I think what it means to say is 2000 employees received 1000 shares per ~$1 USD in dividends they were meant to receive, rather than a fixed value of 1000 shares each (which are not worth $9m!).

> Such measures came after an irrevocable accidental input error on Friday -- “share” instead of “Korean won” -- caused Samsung Securities to pay dividends to shareholding employees of a combined 2.8 billion shares, instead of 2.8 billion won ($2.6 million).

> The intent was to give each of those employees 1000 South Korean won worth about US$1, but instead they all got 1000 shares.

Actual title: "2018 Samsung fat-finger error"

> 112.6 trillion won, or 30 times the market capitalization of the company

For those as confused as I was - Samsung Securities is a small company within Samsung which has a market cap about 1% the size of Samsung's.

I wonder how many more errors like this have happened.

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