A well-known Hobart makeup artist with thousands of Instagram followers ripped her company’s clients off $65,000 to fund her own lavish lifestyle.
A well-known Hobart makeup artist with thousands of Instagram followers ripped her company’s clients off $65,000 to fund her own lavish lifestyle.

Award-winning makeup artist busted in $65k fraud

A HOBART make up artist who defrauded customers of the health insurance company she was working for used the $65,000 to fund her "lavish lifestyle," a court has heard.

Olivia Rose Rodgers, 31, has pleaded guilty to 62 counts of dishonestly acquiring a financial advantage.

Before Chief Magistrate Catherine Geason on Tuesday, the court heard while working as a casual employee for Bupa between October 2015 and August 2017, Ms Rodgers acquired approximately $65,000 by making false claims against customers' membership.

The prosecution said she would contact a customer and tell them money would be arriving in their account, but this was a mistake and asked them to transfer it back and would give her own bank account details.

Olivia Rodgers leaves the Hobart Magistrates Court.
Olivia Rodgers leaves the Hobart Magistrates Court.

Defence lawyer Fabiano Cangelosi said Ms Rodgers was suffering from anxiety and stress due to pressure from a credit provider about a personal loan and was also affected by weight loss medication at the time.

Mr Cangelosi said his client had also had issues with being paid on time by Bupa, but the prosecution said there was no evidence of this as bank statements showed the only time she was not paid was when she made herself unavailable.

The court heard Ms Rodgers was now self employed as a makeup artist and was in demand across the state for what was considered a "very successful business" and the case was likely to result in loss of reputation.

"Very few people will want to have a wedding where people know the person who did the makeup went to Risdon Prison," Mr Cangelosi said.

The court heard police had also investigated Ms Rodgers close friends and family and had initially charged others, including her mother who was required to appear in the Supreme Court.

Olivia Rodgers leaves the Hobart Magistrates Court.
Olivia Rodgers leaves the Hobart Magistrates Court.

Her mother has since been diagnosed with terminal cancer, with less than two years to live.

"She has to live with the fact that in her mother's final years, she was committed to the Supreme Court of Tasmania due her [Olivia Rodgers'] actions," Mr Cangelosi said.

Mr Cangelosi said Ms Rodgers used the money for living expenses, but the prosecution argued she was motivated by "greed, not need."

The court heard during the period of offending, she earnt about $139,000 between the job at Bupa and her work as a beautician.

"She lived a lavish lifestyle of excessive spending and living beyond her means," the prosecutor said.

The court heard during the period, Ms Rodgers went on three interstate trips and one overseas trip to Bali.

The prosecution gave an example of a month of bank transactions, during the month of June 2017, showed she was paid $6224 between the two jobs, but spent $12,212 on living expenses and personal shopping.

Mr Cangelosi said he intended to call Ms Rodgers and a medical doctor as witnesses to give evidence for the plea in mitigation.

Ms Rodgers was bailed to reappear on February 15.

jessica.howard@news.com.au

Originally published as Award-winning Tassie makeup artist busted in $65k fraud


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