A travel agent has received a three-month suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to obtaining a benefit by deception in defrauding a Northern Territory government travel subsidy scheme.
The fraud involved more than AUD 22,000, ABC News reported.
Saffron Josie Russell owned Travel World in Alice Springs between 2010 and 2013, where the fraud took place, Darwin’s Local Court heard.
ABC News said Russell’s lawyer told the court his client had arrived at court with a cheque for $22,505.34 to pay back the money. She was ordered to do so.
Russell admitted defrauding the Pensioner and Carer Travel Concession Scheme run by the Department of Health by submitting 108 invoices that inflated the cost of travel.
ABC News noted that Russell was “the latest in a string of travel agents” convicted of defrauding the same scheme.
Defence lawyer Peter Maley said Russell had won awards for being the Travel World franchisee of the year after growing the business to employ a staff of four, the Herald Sun reported.