A woman who conned almost $800,000 from two men she met on has failed in her bid to have her prison time cut short.
Jocelyn Zakhour was sentenced to four years and eight months jail after she had swindled more than $780,000 from two businessmen she met on the dating app between June and November 2018 to fund her gambling addiction.
Zakhour had been living as a VIP member in ‘s Crown Casino when she falsely told the victims that she needed money to invest into a blueberry and tobacco farm in .
Jocelyn Zakhour (pictured) was sentenced to four years and eight months jail after she had swindled more than $780,000 from two businessmen she met on Tinder in 2018 to fund her gambling addiction
The 41-year-old Melbourne woman has launched an appeal claiming the sentence was manifestly excessive for the crimes she was convicted of.
According to the , Zakhour said the sentencing judge, Gregory Lyon, had placed ‘too much emphasis’ on the fact that she had met the victims off Tinder and subsequently tricked them both into giving her money.
She also refused the judge’s assertion that she had used Tinder as a ‘hunting ground to seek and exploit’ people for their money.
Finally, Zakhour stated the judge refused to consider her claim that she was possibly dating both men at the same time.
Court of Appeal justices Stephen McLeish and Cameron Macaulay rejected Zakhour’s appeal on Tuesday.
Zakhour said the sentencing judge had placed ‘too much emphasis’ on the fact that she had met the victims off Tinder and refuted his assertion that she had used Tinder as a ‘hunting ground to seek and exploit’ people for their money
Zakhour managed to swindle $728,700 from her first victim after promising him a 300 per cent return for his investment into the fake farm.
She also gifted him with a fake Rolex to assure him that what she was doing wasn’t a ‘scam’.
He initially transferred her $200,000 but was forced to give her more after Zakhour said ‘the employees would find him and his family and harm them’.
‘Tell your ex-wife you will kill yourself if she doesn’t give you the money,’ she said.
Zakhour also told the victim to take money out of his super and if he didn’t, workers would ‘come to Melbourne and do something to him and his family’.
The first man eventually reported Zakhour to police in November 2018 after she sent him 240 emails threatening his ex-wife, children and even his mother.
Detectives swooped on Zakhour after one of her victims arranged to meet up with her at a restaurant.
The 41-year-old told police she regretted blowing all the money on pokies and baccarat at the casino, adding her victim ‘knew what type of girl I am’.
‘The thing that’s killing me is I did nothing with the money, I could have bought the biggest business, I didn’t even buy myself a car, not even property, nothing to show for it,’ Zakhour said.
‘I don’t feel sorry for him, how can you be so stupid to believe those stories?’
Her second victim, a financial planner, was conned into paying her $61,000 which she said would go towards farm equipment and staff wages.
Zakhour was sentenced to the maximum four years and eight months jail after she pled guilty to multiple fraud, blackmail and extortion charges. She will be eligible for parole in two years and eight months time
It was also heard that Zakhour had been held hostage by a man in Syria who then forced her family to pay up $400,000 in order to let her go.
This resulted in Zakhour gambling heavily in a bid to pay her parents back.
She lived as a VIP member of the Crown Casino and kawan99 even gambled away $24million between 2016 and 2018.
She was sentenced to the maximum four years and eight months jail after she pled guilty to multiple fraud, blackmail and extortion charges.
Zakhour will be eligible for parole in two years and eight months time.