News : BA Call Centre Worker Jailed for Lost Baggage Fraud
London, UK, Aug 20, 2015 -- A woman has been jailed for 12 months after stealing more than £52,000 from British Airways while working in its customer complaints call centre.
Charlotte Syers, 27, almost tripled her wages by setting up fake lost baggage claims and paying the refunds into her own bank account while working at BA's Newcastle call centre.
She also issued fake 40 E-Vouchers for discounted flights, which are given to customers who have made a genuine complaint, and sold them on eBay.
According to a report in the Shields Gazette, her fraud was discovered when a customer received an email relating to a £4,000 refund for lost baggage which he had hadn't claimed.
The customer alerted BA to the fraudulent claim, which he suspected was from someone within the airline.
Other fraudulent claims were then discovered between April 15 2014 and and April 13 this year, all paid into the same bank account into which Syers received her BA salary.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that she spent some of the money on a holiday and an engagement party and effectively trebled her salary.
Syers, of Maple Park, Durham, admitted fraud by abuse of position.
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In her defence, Martin Towers told the court that Syers was a Durham University student but had to drop out after a year due to suffering a muscular condition.
He said she is a 'lady of previous good character' who suffered from depression but had to stop taking medication due to her medical condition.
He pointed to a report referring to the shame and remorse she feels and said that, after losing her job, she hopes to start a course at Newcastle College.
Judge Edward Bindloss told Syers her actions were 'fuelled by personal greed' and that 'given the breach of trust' only an immediate custodial sentence could be justified.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, August 21, 2015
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