She helped catch a corrupt Victorian fraud squad detective, but a woman recruited by an international crime syndicate to help steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from Melbourne businesses has been jailed for at least 21 months.
Hundreds of counterfeit credit cards from countries including the US, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Korea, Albania and Yugoslavia were used by the gang in what County Court judge David Parsons described as a highly sophisticated fraud.
Julie Lim, 29, was one of a number of "shoppers" paid up to 12 per cent commission for goods they bought using the fraudulent cards.
She used 65 credit cards on 46 shopping trips to buy goods such as laptops, iPads and cigars from December 2010 to January last year. The goods were later sold for $117,634 and the money transferred to Malaysia.
Lim pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one charge of conspiracy to defraud.
She was jailed for two years and nine months with a non-parole period of 21 months.
"People who take part in frauds of these dimensions will inevitably go to jail for a significant period of time," Judge Parsons said.
But the judge praised Lim's assistance in prosecuting a corrupt police officer, saying her actions had reflected well on her character and resolve.
When Lim was arrested after police raided her Glen Waverley home in January last year, fraud squad detective Trevor Adair stole $9120 from her purse, which was sitting on a chest of drawers in a bedroom.
After Adair left the house, Lim told police her money had been stolen. The police Ethical Standards Department was contacted and the money was found in Adair's backpack.
Adair, who had been a police officer for 22 years and later resigned, was given a suspended three-month jail term last year after pleading guilty to theft.
Magistrate Elizabeth Lambden accepted the crime was committed in "a moment of madness" and Adair was genuinely remorseful.
Two of Lim's co-accused – Kenny Lim, and his wife, Sok – were jailed in November for their part in the credit card fraud.
Kenny Lim was sentenced to three and a half years' jail with a non-parole period of two and a half years. Sok Lim was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment with a non-parole period of nine months.
The trio had transferred in total more than $285,000 to Malaysia from the sale of goods bought using the counterfeit credit cards.