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Christian Wendy Baulch jailed over luxury cruise fraud





  • Wendy Baulch, 54, had $93,458 wrongly deposited in her bank account 
  • Mother-of-four blew more than $60,000 on luxury cruises and spending money
  • She flew to Los Angeles and Miami before boarding a 36-day cruise to Sydney 
  • Baulch was arrested when she disembarked and has been jailed for 18 months
  • Court heard she had already booked another cruise leaving day after her arrest 

By Ollie Gillman For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 18:56 EDT, 20 March 2017 | Updated: 20:06 EDT, 20 March 2017

A devout Christian woman has been jailed after going on a massive spending spree and luxury round-the-world cruise when nearly $100,000 was mistakenly put in her bank account.

Wendy Baulch, 54, was wrongly paid $93,458 by a discount chemist on New Year's Eve 2014, but failed to pay any of it back.

Instead the unemployed mother-of-four blew more than $60,000 of the money on cash withdrawals and luxury cruises.

Wendy Baulch, 54, has been jailed after going on a massive spending spree and luxury round-the-world cruise when $100,000 was mistakenly put in her bank account Wendy Baulch, 54, has been jailed after going on a massive spending spree and luxury round-the-world cruise when $100,000 was mistakenly put in her bank account

Wendy Baulch, 54, has been jailed after going on a massive spending spree and luxury round-the-world cruise when $100,000 was mistakenly put in her bank account

Baulch was wrongly paid $93,458 by a discount chemist on New Year's Eve 2014, but failed to pay any of it back Baulch was wrongly paid $93,458 by a discount chemist on New Year's Eve 2014, but failed to pay any of it back

Baulch was wrongly paid $93,458 by a discount chemist on New Year's Eve 2014, but failed to pay any of it back

Fraudster Baulch lived a life of luxury on the cruise liner (pictured), up until her arrest after getting off in Sydney Fraudster Baulch lived a life of luxury on the cruise liner (pictured), up until her arrest after getting off in Sydney

Fraudster Baulch lived a life of luxury on the cruise liner (pictured), up until her arrest after getting off in Sydney

Baulch, from Brisbane, had just $5,000 to her name when the huge sum of money was accidentally deposited in her bank account by Pharmacy4Less, The Courier-Mail reported.

Judge Gary Long said it 'must have been obvious' the transfer was a mistake, but just three days later Baulch used the money to pay for a 36-day round-the-world cruise.

THE SPENDING SPREE 

December 31, 2014: $93,458 is mistakenly paid into Baulch's account.

Later that day: Baulch withdraws $90,000 and deposits it into other accounts that she holds.

January 3, 2015: Baulch books 36-day cruise from Miami to Sydney.

January 5: Baulch boards MS Amsterdam in Miami, after flying from Brisbane via Los Angeles.

Later in January: Baulch withdraws $15,000 in spending money while on the ship. 

February 10: Baulch is arrested after disembarking cruise in Sydney.

February 11: Cruise from Sydney to Yangon, Burma, departs without Baulch, who had booked herself onto the ship before she was caught. 

The court heard she withdrew $90,000 from her account before moving it into other accounts and credit cards in her name.

She then flew from Brisbane to Los Angeles before catching another flight to Miami, where she boarded the Sydney-bound MS Amsterdam liner.

Baulch withdrew a further $15,000 spending money while on board the ship, the jury was told. 

But her life of luxury came to an abrupt end when she was arrested as she disembarked from the ferry in Sydney on February 10, 2015.

The court also heard the former hotel and motel manager had already booked another cruise by the time she was arrested, with the mother making plans for a 30-day trip from Sydney to Yangon, in Myanmar, leaving the next day. 

Prosecutor Michael Gawrych said Baulch had spent the majority of the money, but added the bank had frozen $28,892 which would be handed back to the pharmacy. 

The unemployed mother-of-four blew more than $60,000 of the money on cash withdrawals and luxury cruises The unemployed mother-of-four blew more than $60,000 of the money on cash withdrawals and luxury cruises

The unemployed mother-of-four blew more than $60,000 of the money on cash withdrawals and luxury cruises

Baulch is pictured leaving a police watchhouse with her suitcases after being apprehended in February 2015 Baulch is pictured leaving a police watchhouse with her suitcases after being apprehended in February 2015

Baulch is pictured leaving a police watchhouse with her suitcases after being apprehended in February 2015

Baulch flew from Brisbane to Los Angeles, before catching another flight to Miami, where she boarded the Sydney-bound MS Amsterdam liner (pictured) Baulch flew from Brisbane to Los Angeles, before catching another flight to Miami, where she boarded the Sydney-bound MS Amsterdam liner (pictured)

Baulch flew from Brisbane to Los Angeles, before catching another flight to Miami, where she boarded the Sydney-bound MS Amsterdam liner (pictured)

Baulch withdrew a further $15,000 spending money while on board the ship (pictured) Baulch withdrew a further $15,000 spending money while on board the ship (pictured)

Baulch withdrew a further $15,000 spending money while on board the ship (pictured)

Her barrister, Bruce Mumford, said his client had spent the money on 'items of indulgence', The Courier-Mail reported.

He added she was 'always going to be detected' as she had not hidden her identity when making bookings and moving the money between her accounts. 

Baulch pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended after three months. 

Mr Mumford said Baulch had been studying the Bible at Nazarene Theological College while on bail and she planned to work for the Salvation Army on her release.
 

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