Suncorp manager’s assistant steals $165,000 from her boss’ credit card to splurge on business class holidays with friends and lavish dinners
- Jenna Ross pleaded guilty to obtaining financial advantage by deception
- Ross stole $165,000 from employer Suncorp using a corporate credit card
- She spent the money over four years on flights, accommodation and gift cards
An insurance manager’s assistant used her boss’s corporate credit card to steal $165,000 which she splurged on business class trips and group dinners, a court has heard.
Jenna Ross, 35, pleaded guilty in December to obtaining financial advantage by deception after stealing money from Suncorp.
Her lawyer Sam Tovey told the County Court of Victoria on Tuesday Ross committed the fraud as she had an ‘overwhelming desire to be appreciated’ and suffered from a ‘chronic, unrelenting lack of self worth’, News Corp reported.
Mr Tovey asked Judge Chris Ryan to sentence Ross to a community corrections order instead of jail but Prosecutor Jessica Fallar pushed for a prison sentence.
Jenna Ross (pictured) stole $165,000 from Suncorp using her boss’ corporate credit card
Judge Ryan said Ross had the brought the ‘spotlight of investigation’ to innocent staff after she forged signatures and used fellow employees’ login details.
‘There are plenty of white collar criminals who steal from their employers who don’t put others in the frame,’ he told the court.
The court heard Ross began skimming money just six weeks after she was hired by Suncorp on April 4, 2014.
She continued to do so until she resigned in March 2018 after Suncorp detected a fraudulent invoice.
The court heard Ross spent $80,000 on flights and accommodation for her and her friends using the credit card, including trips to the Gold Coast and Perth.
She also spent money on flights to Los Angeles and on hotel rooms in the United States for a male Suncorp employee she had a ‘quasi-romantic attachment’ to.
The County Court of Victoria (pictured) on Tuesday heard Ross had committed the fraud as she had an ‘overwhelming desire to be appreciated’
Police facts tendered to the court showed Ross lied to the man by claiming her sister worked for an airline which entitled her to free flights and accommodation.
Ross entered the flights and hotels in the Suncorp system as a business trip for different, higher-level employees.
Between May 2014 and January 2018 Ross used the credit card to purchase 131 gifts cards, spending $86,250 on herself despite claiming the cards were for Suncorp and filing them as ‘staff amenities’, ‘stationary’ and ‘seminars/workshops’.
Mr Tovey told the court Ross has already paid back $65,000 and intends to repay the outstanding amount.
Ross will be sentenced later this month.