Suncorp manager’s assistant who stole $165,000 from her boss’s credit card to splurge on business class holidays with friends and lavish dinners avoids jail after sob story about breaking her leg as a 10-year old
- 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
- Ross complained about breaking her leg when she was a 10-year old
- She further complained about negative publicity that outed her as a thief
An insurance manager’s assistant who used her boss’s corporate credit card to steal $165,000 which she splurged on business class trips and group dinners will not spend a day behind bars.
Jenna Ross, 35, pleaded guilty in December to obtaining financial advantage by deception after stealing money from Suncorp.
She was sentenced on Friday by County Court of Victoria Judge Chris Ryan to a three-year community corrections order with a requirement she perform 300 hours of community work.
‘A word to the wise. Don’t ever come back here,’ Judge Ryan warned her.
Jenna Ross (pictured) stole $165,000 from Suncorp using her boss’ corporate credit card
Judge Chris Ryan released Ross on a community corrections order
The court heard Ross began skimming money just six weeks after she was hired by Suncorp on April 4, 2014.
By the time she was busted in March 2018, Ross had blown $86,250 on gift cards and $78,883 on business class flights and accommodation for her and her mates.
The court heard Ross took trips to the Gold Coast and Perth and blew company cash on flights to Los Angeles and hotel rooms in the United States for a male Suncorp employee she had a ‘quasi-romantic attachment’ to.
Some of the recipients of her fraud had cheek enough to provide character references to the court in her defence.
In sentencing, Judge Ryan outlined a web of deception carried out by Ross, which saw her lie about how she could afford the expensive jaunts.
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’.
The County Court of Victoria (pictured) on Tuesday heard Ross had committed the fraud as she had an ‘overwhelming desire to be appreciated’
Ross, who boasted about her long-term association with the St Bedes/Mentone Tigers – a flash footy club in Melbourne’s Bayside area – claimed she suffered from depression stemming back to breaking her leg when she was just 10.
Forensic psychologist Patrick Newton, who has given evidence on behalf of countless criminals, backed her story, declaring the injury had contributed to a ‘persistent depressive disorder’.
Judge Ryan was bombarded with tales of the fraudster’s previous good character, which had seen her raise thousands of dollars for people in need in years gone by.
Her barrister, Sam Tovey, had assured the court Ross had already paid back $65,000 and intended to repay the outstanding amount.
He said Ross had been deeply embarrassed by her behaviour and had since lost a new job working at a Melbourne hospital after news reports exposed her as a dirty crook.
In sentencing, Judge Ryan said he accepted Ross was sorry for her behaviour, had pleaded guilty early and had suffered from a considerable delay in being sentenced.
Judge Ryan said a felon such as Ross would normally be jailed.
Instead, he told her he would be ‘merciful’.
Ross departed the court alongside friends and family.