Earlier this year, January 2016, in a letter sent to the NSW Police, more than 300 international students around Sydney and Melbourne had been cheated when buying airline tickets via Facebook ‘Vi Tran’. However, last week the culprit has been caught and convicted.
This woman, who went by the name Vi Tran, was convicted of 313 counts of fraud, misappropriation of up to 466 000 AUD and has received 18 months of Intensive Correction Order. Detective Nolan Bennett, from Sydney Property Investigation Team of the NSW Police, explained this punishment as a detention at home. It includes 32 hours contributing to community service per month. This can be a considered as alternative constraints (detailed at the State Parole Authority Justice pages of NSW).
Victims unable to claim money back
Unfortunately, although My Truc Le was ordered to refund the damage to the victims, the highest amount that the local court could obtain was $100 thousand dollars ($100.000 AUD).
According to Detective Nolan, it may not be possible that the victims will receive any compensation.
“Because, even if the Court ordered (compensation), but if the defendant can not pay, then it just turned into a command debt…Despite knowing that it will cause frustration for you (the victim), but the police we can not do anything to help you get back the money.” – Detective Nolan stated in the letter that was sent to the victims.
When the case became widespread on the news earlier this year, My Truc Le’s family in Vietnam had promised to refund money to the victims. However, there has been no sign of this compensation.
Detective Bennett Nolan also added that, if they want to pursue it to the end, they must follow it as individuals. However, he also reiterated, if the defendant does not have money, then things will be difficult.
In April 2016, when the case was first heard, SBS News held an interview with Toan Nguyen, a lawyer. His answer as to whether the victims will receive compensation was that it would be unpredictable.
“Due to my experience, the chance to be compensated at 100% is rare. Also, there may be no authority or organisation for compensation.”
“Except for those people who have purchased any travel insurance, they are possibly claiming money from their insurance depending on the insurance policies of those who bought airline tickets.“- said by lawyer Toan.
To those who wished to to pursue and reclaim their lost money, individuals are advised to contact a lawyer or visit the Access Law Section: Does someone owe you money?