gambling confessions of a travel agent
Australia: Travel Agent Gambles Away Almost 630,000 USD
An employee of a travel agency allegedly defrauded two of her employers and their clients out of a large amount of money. The total loss amounts to almost 630,000 US dollars. She reportedly used the funds obtained to finance her gambling addiction.
We already have reported on a case in which a wedding planner cheated a couple of couples out of money. He then gambled it ALL away in a casino.
In the current case, an Australian travel agency employee defrauded two of her employers and their clients out of several hundred thousand US dollars. The acts occurred between April 2018 and September 2020.
Almost 630,000 US Dollars Gambled Away in Online Casino
The 58-year-old mother of two allegedly diverted a total of 628,598 US dollars from her bosses and clients during the crime period. The money came from canceled trips and was illegally transferred to the defendant’s account.
The former travel agent had deliberately failed to refund the money to the customers. This was reported by the news channel ABC in a current report on 5 September 2021.
The accused had used the embezzled money to finance her gambling addiction. For this reason, she had also deposited the money in the online casino a short time later.
There she had lost all the money. In total, the damage amounts to 628,598 US dollars.
Accused Makes Confession
The accused is currently being tried in the District Court of the State of Victoria. Here, the 58-year-old made an serious confession and apologized for her actions:
“I would like to apologize for the theft sincerely and all the pain I have caused. I am devastated and sorry for the abuse of trust, financial difficulties, worry, and shame I have caused by my stupid, wrongful actions.”
When her gambling addiction got out of control, the ex-travel agent had initially tried to raise new money to gamble with the help of short-term loans. When the money was no longer sufficient, she embezzled the customers’ money.
There were 522 cases in which she did not pass on the money.
After the offenses became known, the 58-year-old initially tried to appease the aggrieved clients herself. For this purpose, she agreed on several installment payments. However, she was only able to repay a total of 22,500 US dollars, so legal action was inevitable.
In an article from this year, we asked how gambling addiction can be recognized and effectively combated.
Judge Criticizes Gambling Operator
In the current court case, the judge surprisingly criticized above all the operators of online casinos. In his opinion, there were only victims at the end of this case – except for the casino operators.
So far, the verdict, in this case, has not yet been announced. However, the defendant must expect a prison sentence of several years, mainly because of the damage.
There will only be losers at the end of this case. The employers and customers of the travel agent have suffered damages amounting to several hundred thousand US dollars.
The gambling-addicted travel agent gambled away the money directly in the online casino and had no significant advantage. Only the owners of the online casinos won almost 630,000 US dollars.
It will be interesting to see how high the fine for the 58-year-old mother will ultimately be.