Greek Australian travel agent Arthur Zacharias, one of the most prominent travel agents in South Australia, has fronted Adelaide District Court for sentencing after being accused of concocting an ‘elaborate’ scheme, involving the issuing of fake documents and misappropriation of hundreds of thousands of dollars while working for Axis Travel, one of the largest travel agencies in SA.
The case first came to light in 2016 following a series of accusations that the 49-year-old agent was being deceitful to his clients to benefit himself, issuing false tickets and misappropriating funds.
Zacharias was arrested but the case was then dropped a year later and pursued again last year.
Many Greek Australians are now amongst those who have taken legal action against the 49-year-old agent seeking justice.
“Most Greek Australians would go to Arthur to book their summer holidays to Greece confident that he was genuinely there to look after them and give them the best possible price. We all had so much faith in him and hardly ever questioned his business practices but suddenly things started going terribly wrong,” George said, who is one of Mr Zacharias’ clients.
In fact, the walls started closing in on Zacharias when he failed to follow through with his promise to secure access to a series of World Cup events for a number of his Greek Australian clients.
“Many of us had paid exorbitant amounts of money to make such a long journey overseas in order to attend the World Cup. One can therefore imagine the disappointment we felt when we realised that not only we did not have valid tickets to access the games but we were also being taken for a ride by a fellow Greek Australian,” said Charalambos, another client wishing to remain anonymous.
Mr Zacharias has already pleaded guilty to three counts of dishonest dealings with documents, 19 counts of dishonest dealings with property without consent, six counts of deception, another to benefit self and one count of deception of another to cause detriment.
Last Thursday, Mr Zacharias’ lawyer Jon Lister confirmed that his client would plead guilty to the remaining three charges in Adelaide Magistrates Court.
The court heard two further charges of dishonestly dealing with documents would be dropped by the prosecution.
Mr Zacharias will appear in Adelaide District Court in January for sentencing.