"Devoutly religious" woman jailed for ripping off airline
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.