Jail for Thomson fraud agent

Jail for Thomson fraud agent

A former travel agent conned two companies out of £70,000 to book flights around the world and luxury hotel rooms.

Reece Scobie, 19, from Rait in Perthshire, was detained for 16 months at Perth Sheriff Court.

The court was told that Thomson had been conned out of £11,256, while Cambridge Travel was duped out of £59,878.

Scobie admitted two charges of fraud by obtaining services, flights and accommodation while employed at Thomson in Perth.

He also admitted that between July 2011 and January 2012 he booked an unspecified number of flights and hotel rooms on the company's account using passwords.

Scobie admitted accessing the accounts of Cambridge Business Travel and booking numerous flights in January last year, the BBC reported.

He also used fake guarantee letters and travel documents and got Perth Sheriff Court staff to hand over his passport.

The court was told that the fraud started within weeks of him being taken on as a trainee travel agent by Thomson in the St John's Shopping Centre in Perth.

He was able to access accounts and passwords allowing him to book flights and accommodation.

Among the trips he took were business class flights to Singapore and Los Angeles. He also booked round the world trips, taking in locations like Dubai, Auckland, Atlanta, New York and Vancouver.

He was eventually caught while travelling to Los Angeles.

Despite being sacked by Thomson after a couple of months, Scobie managed to con the second agency out of almost £60,000 in the space of 11 days.

He booked at least five luxury holidays across the world, each costing between £5,000 and £10,000.

The court heard that Scobie suffered from Asperger's Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and made a number of bookings he could never use.

But the court heard that Scobie booked as many as 30 hotel rooms and stayed in a large number of them, often treating himself to wine and food.

Among the hotels he booked to stay in were the former Jumeirah Essex House in New York and the Shangri-La in Vancouver.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis said: "I don't consider this an easy case to sentence because I am fully aware of the condition from which you suffer.

"However, I do consider it appropriate to deprive you of your liberty for a period."


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