A Hobart make-up artist who defrauded more than $65,000 from her employer, health insurance company Bupa, to live in “greater comfort” has been ordered to serve two months behind bars.
Olivia Rose Rodgers was handed a nine-month jail sentence with seven months suspended in July but immediately appealed, arguing the punishment was manifestly excessive.
From January 2016 to July 2017, Rodgers processed 62 fraudulent claims against Bupa using the names of family and friends.
She told them false reasons for why the funds had been transferred into their accounts and then asked them to transfer the money to her.
On Monday, Supreme Court of Tasmania Justice Alan Blow dismissed Rodgers’ appeal, saying it was reasonably open for the magistrate to impose the jail sentence and it was not manifestly excessive.
Rodgers had earlier pleaded guilty to 62 counts of dishonestly acquiring a financial advantage.
In his written judgment, Justice Blow said Rodgers “took advantage” of her friends and family to obtain their bank details.
Rodgers committed the crimes “because of a wish to live in greater comfort than was possible on what she could earn”.
“She abused the trust that had been placed in her by her employer after several years of satisfactory service,” Justice Blow wrote.
Rodgers was aged 26-28 and working as a Bupa sales consultant during her offending. She was paid more than $55,000 in net wages from the company over that time.
Her business takings were almost $84,000 before profit during the same period.
Rodgers, who has since paid back the stolen money, argued the magistrate didn’t properly consider her restitution, delays in the case or her guilty plea when considering a sentence.
Justice Blow noted Rodgers was genuinely remorseful and a psychologist reported that she was horrified about her actions.
Rodgers suffered from a generalised anxiety disorder and body dysmorphic disorder when she took the money and was “spending excessively” on items to conceal her body shape.
She has been ordered to pay court costs.