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

Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

Deadfalls in Salmon Arm pose risk for wildfires

Resident emphasizes need for fuel management plan in Little Mountain Park.

911 jams causes panic among residents

RDOS chair received several calls and texts from panicked residents unable to get through to 911

More thunderstorms on the way as fires still burn

Environment Canada is forecasting lightning for the Okanagan and Shuswap

Update: More lightning forecast as storm sparks 38 new wildfires in B.C.

22 new fires in are burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Update: Evacuation order issued after Peachland wildfire hits 200 hectares

The BC Wildfire Service is battling a large wildfire alongside Highway 97 in Peachland.

Breaking: Okanagan Mountain Park fire forces evacuation alert

Properties from 6006 to 8888 Lakeshore Road are being placed on an evacuation alert

Okanagan Mountain Park fire forces evacuation alert

Properties from 6006 to 8888 Lakeshore Road are being placed on an evacuation alert

Cluster of fires fans smoke over West Kelowna

A cluster of three fires are burning above West Kelowna

Update: Summerland wildfire forces PIB state of emergency

More than 40 firefighters are on scene of the wildfire near Mount Conkle, just outside of Summerland.

Hockey trip fraudster receives house arrest

Man duped 16 families with Okanagan Elite Hockey Association out of over $100,000

Four wild fires still burning near Keremeos

One fire was extinguished and another reported after lightning came through area

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Most Read