A gambling addict who conned almost $800,000 from businessmen she met on Tinder and gave deadly threats to her victims’ families has been jailed for four years.
Jocelyn Zakhour, 41, had been living as a VIP member in Melbourne‘s Crown Casino when she falsely told two men she needed money to invest into a blueberry and tobacco farm in NSW.
Between June and November in 2018, Zakhour managed to swindle more than $780,00 from both of her victims.
She eventually pleaded guilty to multiple fraud, blackmail and extortion charges and on Tuesday cried when she was jailed for a maximum of four years and six months with a non-parole period of two years and eight months.
Jocelyn Zakhour has been jailed after fleecing more than $780,000 from businessmen she met on Tinder
The County Court heard how Zakhour managed to fleece the men including telling them she needed cash for her employees, The Herald Sun reported.
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 ensure 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 41-year-old threatened her victims and their families if they did not continue to pay her
The serial gambler also sent out 240 threatening emails to her first victim before she was eventually reported to police in November, 2018
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 brought 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.
She lived large as a VIP member of the Crown Casino and even gambled away $24million between 2016 and 2018
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 even gambled away $24million between 2016 and 2018.
She said her high-rolling lifestyle gave her a sense of ‘power’.
Judge Gregory Lyon said the fraudster had ‘ruthlessly exploited’ her victims and ruined their lives and ability to trust others.
Zakhour wrote an apology letter to her victims, spent the past 18 months volunteering at a soup kitchen, and paid back her victims about 10 per cent of what they had lost.
She sobbed in court upon being sentenced to jail.