A makeup artist has stolen more than $ 65,000 from Bupa to fund an “ lavish lifestyle ” of foreign travel and shopping trips, a court has heard.
Olivia Rose Rodgers, 31, worked for the health insurance company between 2015 and 2017 during the launch of her makeup business in Tasmania.
She stood before the Hobart Magistrates Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to 62 counts of unfairly obtaining a financial advantage in connection with false insurance claims she made on behalf of family and friends.
The court heard that Rodger’s friends and family were initially investigated and charged with the belief that it was a ‘joint criminal enterprise’ before the police decided she was the sole beneficiary, the ABC reports.
Olivia Rose Rodgers, 31, (pictured) faced Hobart Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to stealing over $ 65,000 from her former employer Bupa Health Insurance
She would give family and friends numerous explanations as to why the money had been deposited into their account before asking them to turn it over to her, prosecutor Ann Edge said.
Rodgers’ attorney Fabiano Cangelosi argued that his client’s behavior was caused by stress from the burden of paying off a personal loan and Bupa not paying her on time.
However, he admitted that the stolen money was later used for livelihoods, adding that she did not consider the consequences of her actions because of “ a serious mental illness ” that had not been diagnosed at the time.
But the prosecution dismissed the claims, arguing that Rodgers revealed bank statements she stole out of “ greed, against need, ” with transactions indicating she spent the money on multiple vacations, rental cars and shopping.
At one point during her two-year tenure with the insurance company, Rodgers flew to Melbourne to shop while staying at the Hilton hotel.
The next day she flew to Brisbane, before later on a trip to Bali.
The court heard that Rodgers was making false claims to family and friends, who were initially charged by police until it was determined she was acting alone
Account data from November 2015 showed that Rodgers had spent more than $ 9,000, but made just a little over $ 4,000 on Bupa and her makeup company.
Similar spending patterns were seen in bank snapshots from two other months.
‘[She stole] so she could live what could only be described as a lavish lifestyle, ”Mrs. Edge told the court.
Bupa had also disputed Rodger’s wage issues, noting that she was a casual employee who could easily apply for time off, Ms. Edge said.
Ms. Edge argued that the differences in her wages corresponded to periods when Rodgers started working on her makeup business, which coincided with the peak wedding season.
Bank statements also showed that deposits had been made to her account around these times under the headings of “wedding” and “make-up.”
Mr. Cangelosi urged the magistrate to issue a non-custodial sentence to Rodgers, who has worked as a self-employed makeup artist since he left Bupa in September 2017.
Rodgers’ attorney Fabiano Cangelosi urged the magistrate to issue Rodgers a non-custodial sentence, arguing that it would ruin her reputation as a makeup artist. Pictured: Rodgers at the Brides Choice Awards in March last year
He said Rodgers was sorry for the pain her actions had caused to her loved ones, including her terminally ill mother.
“The accused lived with the knowledge that her entire family was under surveillance, was charged and appeared before the Tasmania Supreme Court for mistakes she had made,” he said.
‘[She] has to live with the knowledge that in her mother’s final years she was in the Supreme Court because of something she [Rodgers] did.’
Cangelosi argued that a prison sentence would ruin her reputation as a makeup artist and make it difficult for her to care for her ailing mother.
The hearing was adjourned for further defense.
She will be sentenced at a later date.