UPDATE: Pilot ordered to pay Air Canada $36,000 in fraudulent ticket scheme

Incidents date back to 2012, when Sensors Quality Management Inc. operated a “mystery shopper” program

A Hong Kong pilot has been given a conditional discharge and ordered by a B.C. provincial court judge to pay Air Canada $36,000 after fraudulently using an internal discount code to book flights for himself, family and friends.

In a decision posted online Wednesday, Marc Anthony Tacchi, a 42-year-old commercial pilot for Cathay Dragon Airlines pleaded guilty in December to fraudulently obtaining transportation.

The incidents date back to 2012 and 2013, when a company named Sensors Quality Management Inc. (SQM) operated a “mystery shopper” quality control program for various companies including Air Canada. The program involved asking selected shoppers to evaluate a purchased item or service, and in return obtain a partial or full refund.

According to the court documents, Air Canada provided SQM with promotional codes for 50 per cent off a flight. Those codes were not supposed to be provided directly to the customer evaluating the services, but instead used by SQM to refund the fare paid for the flight after the evaluation was complete.

That was when Tacchi, a Canadian citizen but a permanent resident of Hong Kong, obtained one of the insider promotion codes from an “SQM insider” by the name of Mr. Hunt, who resided in Ontario. Documents show he received a nine-month conditional sentence in an Ontario court.

Between March 18 and July 29, 2013, Tacchi used the insider promotion code to book four trips for him and his family and friends, bypassing the evaluation process and SQM altogether and using fake names and addresses. The flights, involving 13 individual flight legs, equated to a value of just more than $36,000.

In the decision, the judge said greed was the sole motivation for the fraudulent purchases, and that the amounts involved were “not insubstantial.”

However, the judge also noted there were plenty of mitigating factors. During the RCMP’s investigation, Tacchi appeared on wanted posters which were posted on social media websites. According to the defence, a Google search of his name will generate images of the poster and the damage to his reputation with endure on the internet “long after this case has been resolved.”

It’s also noted in the court documents that Tacchi is relied upon by multiple children from different marriages for financial support, as well as a street musician from Nepal named Suresh Gandhari. After befriending Gandhari while on a work assignment, Tacchi has since paid for his three children to attend school during the past four years.

Considering all factors, Tacchi was ordered to six months of probation with 20 hours of community service, and has paid back the $36,000 to Air Canada.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Heinrich hired as CAO

Heinrich has been acting in the role since March 2017.

Power out, restored in some areas

While power is now on for some of the Boundary, as many as 2,000 may still be in the dark.

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Kootenay Boundary remains in unusually dangerous avalanche period

Avalanche Canada says it expects snowpack conditions to get better soon

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Most Read