"Devoutly religious" woman jailed for ripping off airline

Robyne Cuerel

A DEVOUTLY religious 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.

New Zealand-born Samoan woman Margaret Vaaipu Mose, 29, yesterday admitted abusing her position as a lowly call centre operator to book 134 flights over 2½ years until she was arrested on July 10, 2015.

Most of the flights were to Samoa and NZ and the District Court was told that she has not ­repaid a single cent, nor ­offered to reimburse the airline. She was sacked when she was arrested. Some of her 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. However, Mose claimed most of this was payment for hotels and hire cars.

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

She attended the Northside Brisbane Assembly of God in Chermside. The airline was able to cancel 40 flights. Mose must serve 20 months jail.

Topics:  court crime editors picks virgin australia

News Corp Australia

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