A former contractor at an Adelaide travel agency has faced court on charges of defrauding clients.
Arthur Zacharias, 45, appeared in Adelaide Magistrates Court this week charged with fraud-related offences while working for Axis Travel, the Adelaide Advertiser reported.
Several weeks ago, Axis Travel owner Max Najar said his business had uncovered allegedly fraudulent behaviour. Najar, a well-known and respected figure in the travel industry, immediately called the police. See: Cunning fraud sting hits premium Aussie travellers
Zacharias is charged with three counts of dishonest dealings with documents. He has yet to enter a plea and the Advertiser reported that his brief court appearance did not reveal any details of his alleged crimes.
First-class and business travellers from Adelaide were left stranded or out of pocket following the alleged elaborate fraud.
Authorities believe travellers paid money into the agency’s bank account but the tickets and other items they thought they were paying for were not bought. The payments were allegedly assigned to other clients through an elaborate scheme.
Najar said earlier that his agency had already paid out AUD 180,000 to honour interstate and overseas bookings.
Zacharias has been remanded on bail to reappear in court next month.
Written by Peter Needham