Travel Agents

Agent fraudster cops sentencing date after pleading guilty to more than 30 charges

An Adelaide-based travel agent who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars and left clients stranded is awaiting sentencing from the District Court after pleading guilty to his remaining charges.

Arthur Zacharias pleaded guilty to 28 charges ranging from dishonest dealings with documents to deceiving with intent to benefit last year, and his lawyer confirmed in the Adelaide Magistrates Court that he would plead guilty to three more charges last week, according to Adelaide Now.

The charges relate to an “elaborate scheme” executed by Zacharias in 2016 that left dozens of first and business class Adelaide travellers stranded or out of pocket using fraudulent documents.

Some clients were allegedly tricked into booking directly with Zacharias rather than through the agency he worked for, Axis Travel.

Max Najar, owner of Axis Travel, said Zacharias used the company’s name to defraud clients.

At the time, Axis Travel owner Max Najar told Adelaide Now Zacharias’ actions plunged the agency into “rescue mode” to make sure their clients were able to complete their trips or return home.

“Axis Travel terminated its relationship with the contractor on June 29 after we identified what appeared to be financial misconduct. He has since been arrested by police and charged with various offences,’’ Najar told clients in 2016.

“To use our integrity, our good name, my name and defraud us all has been damaging and totally uncalled for, as we did all the checks and balances in 2013/2014, the police checks, ASIO, AMEX Fraud division, and others before he was contracted in late 2013.”

Zacharias is due to be sentenced in January.


Featured image source: iStock/Chris Ryan



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