Kiwi-born woman jailed for Virgin fraud

Margaret Vaaipu Mose was a call-centre operator for Virgin until her arrest in July, 2015. Photo / File
Margaret Vaaipu Mose was a call-centre operator for Virgin until her arrest in July, 2015. Photo / File

A religious Kiwi-born Virgin Australia staffer will serve nearly two years jail for using a loophole to book $225,000 worth of mostly free flights for members of her church congregation, family and friends.

Margaret Vaaipu Mose, 29, who was born in New Zealand, admitted abusing her position as a lowly call-centre operator to book 134 flights over two-and-a-half years until she was arrested on July 10, 2015.

Most of the flights were to Samoa and New Zealand and she has not repaid a single cent, nor offered to reimburse the airline, a Brisbane court heard.

She was sacked when she was arrested.

Some of Mose's friends, family and church congregation members deposited cash into her bank account to pay her for the flights, but Virgin never got any money, the court was told.

She received cash deposits totalling $140,000, prosecutors said, but Mose claimed most of this was payment for hotels and hire cars.

The court was told Mose "paid" for the flights using virtual money held in 71 "travel back accounts" she fraudulently created. These accounts hold funds from cancelled flights until they are re-booked at a later date.

A large number of the flights were for people she met through her church. Others were for friends and family.

She attended the Northside Brisbane Assembly of God in Chermside.

The airline was able to cancel 40 bookings when Mose was arrested.

She must serve 20 months behind bars.

- news.com.au

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 26 Apr 2017 19:28:29 Processing Time: 427ms