Travel industry news

12 Sep 2016

BY Jennifer Morris


Fake travel agent pleads guilty to selling fictitious cruises

A woman has pleaded guilty to stealing more than £55,000 while posing as a travel agent.

Police tape crime scene stock image.jpg

Fake travel agent conned 'customers' out of £55,000

Kay Hooper, 58, of Moreton Drive, Great Torrington, Devon, “sold” fictitious cruises to unsuspecting customers, the North Devon Journal reports.


She pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud by false representation at North Devon Magistrates’ Court on September 9.


Lyndsey Baker, for the prosecution, said Hooper had set herself up to appear legitimate as a travel agent, leading her victims to believe she was in a position to sell holidays.


In total the fictitious cruises sold amounted to a value of £55,493.


Baker added: "It was put to her that she had set herself up as a travel agent and she enters a guilty plea."


The court heard that the "sophisticated nature" of the crime and the fact it took a "significant" degree of planning, were aggravating factors.


Hooper even gained a travel agent registration number.


Baker suggested magistrates’ sentencing powers were probably not sufficient to match the seriousness of the crime and Hooper was ordered to appear at Exeter Crown Court in October for sentencing.


Tony Dart, for the defence, said: "We are all in agreement the matter should be taken to Crown Court."

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