Travel Agents

Bookkeeper swindles agency out of $100,000 to fuel meth and gambling addictions

A Melbourne-based bookkeeper has swindled $100,000 from an Aussie-owned travel management company to fuel her gambling and meth addictions.

Enza Testa of Melbourne’s Greenvale was the financial controller of corporate travel giant Reho Travel when she began funnelling false payments as far back as 2015, according to the Herald Sun.

Testa masked her deceit through false invoices to clients ranging from $300 to $5,500 to accounts held by her friends or associates.

But her dodgy dealings became unstuck in 2017 when Reho Travel chief executive Karsten Horne received a tip-off and reported Testa to the police. The next day, Testa called in sick and was sacked via text message.

After confessing her crimes to police, Testa was sentenced to a three-year community corrections order on 19 December last year.

Judge Rosemary Carlin said Testa, who was a “trusted employee” and has begun her thieving just months after Reho Travel acquired NTG Travel, which it is understood she was initially working for.

“It may be assumed the new owners relied heavily on you as an experienced, long-term employee,” Carlin said, according to the Herald Sun.

“Instead of assisting them in their new venture, you embarked on your own venture of deceit, which only ceased when your activity was detected.”

The 50-year-old mother of three told the court she used the money to gamble as a “relief from her heavy domestic responsibilities”, but soon turned to meth, which she claims “took over her life”.

Testa said she used meth two to three times a week at a cost of $300 to $400, which Judge Carlin said did not amount to a “raging addiction”.

On top of her community corrections sentence, Testa was also ordered to perform 350 hours of unpaid community work and attend drug rehab.

If you’re struggling with gambling or drug addiction, you can get help via Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Image: iStock/SKapl

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