A Limerick woman has admitted duping two airline charter companies out of €115,000 by hiring aircraft under false pretenses to bring Munster rugby fans to away games.
Pamela Hickey guilty to charges of deception
A court in Limerick has been told that a 38-year old-mother of two duped two airline charter companies out of €115,000 by hiring aircraft under false pretences to bring Munster rugby fans to two away games in December 2004 and January 2005.
Pamala Hickey of Ashford, Patrickswell in Limerick has pleaded quilty to charges of deception by obtaining the services of the Air Charter Services company in December 2004 to bring 180 Munster fans on a return flight from Shannon to Toulouse.
The court heard that the company lost €77,000 as a result of not being paid by Ms Hickey.
The following month she also chartered the services of Monarch Airlines, and its sister company First Aviation Limited, again under false pretences, to bring Munster fans on a return flight from Shannon to Gatwich. In this case the company was at a loss of over STG£34,000.
In both cases she supplied a false name, and false travel agent documents to acquire the service, and a false AIB Paylink funds transfer document, which purported to show the funds had been transferred to the company.
The court heard that Ms Hickey provided 13 trouble free charter packages to Munster fans to away games at less expensive prices than on the high street, as part of the Munster Supporters club.
Munster fans who paid over money for the Toulouse and Galwick flights were not out of pocket - it was the airline charter companies who suffered the losses.
But the service became dogged by Ms Hickey's financial mismanagement as this service and a creche service she was then running at the time were being operated out of the same account.
Ms Hickey's defence barrister said his client did not benefit financially from this service, and that she was the carer of two young children who had now lost everything. She had lost her family home, her business, her means of income and had destroyed her reputation. He also said she had spared the State the cost of a long lengthy trial by an early guilty plea.
He asked Judge Carrol Moran to treat this as an isolated mistake in an otherwise good life.
The judge adjourned sentencing until 21 October.