Initially, it appeared be a banking error, when $100,000 landed in a Sydney, Australia woman’s bank account. But, quickly police discovered the spending spree which included a cruise, was not after her bank made an error and deposited $100,000 into her bank account, instead of a Maryborough, Australia pharmacy’s bank account.
She was part of phishing scam. Wendy Janine Baulch spent $60,000 having a good time. She used the money to fly to Florida and take a luxury cruise from Miami to Sydney.
In the beginning it looked like Australian retailer Pharmacy4Less mistakenly deposited the cash into Baulch’s account on December 31, 2014. She quickly booked a cruise and sailed the high seas on a 30-day cruise aboard Holland America Line’s cruise ship MS Amsterdam.
But, as the story unfolds, defense lawyer Howard Posner said, “The proposition is that she was a small cog in a large machine and a mule, but that she dipped her fingers into that till more than she should have done,” Mr Posner said. “It’s not that she spent her ill-gotten gains; it’s that she stole from the thieves.”
She also booked another cruise from Sydney to Rangoon, Burma, but was arrested right before she boarded. Baulch was arrest in Sydney before being extradited to Queensland where she was charged with fraud and computer hacking related offences. She spent two nights behind bars before being released on bail.
When she appeared in court, Magistrate Wendy Cull ordered Ms Baulch to surrender her passport to police and ordered her to not apply for an exit visa to leave Australia.
Police opposed her bail on the grounds she was a flight risk but Magistrate Wendy Cull agreed to release her from custody on condition she surrender her passport and report weekly to police.
During her bail application, duty lawyer Howard Posner said the allegations seemed to show Baulch was a minor player in a larger Phishing criminal group and this was not just an unfortunate bank error.