Former Kuoni tourism PRO sentenced to nine months

Tourism PRO Gino Meriano has been jailed for nine months for false accounting whilst employed by Kuoni Travel.

Guildford Crown Court heard last week how the 39-year-old PR manager swindled tour operator Kuoni out of around £160,000 worth of holidays over a four-year period.

Meriano, of Chertsey in Surrey, pleaded guilty to 16 charges of false accounting and was sentenced to nine months in prison.

In July, Sharon O'Brien, prosecuting, told Redhill Magistrates' Court that between 1997 and 2001 Meriano had embarked on a spree of fraud that was premeditated and involved fictitious journalists.

Meriano left Kuoni Travel in April 2000 after over ten years with the firm.

He has since been replaced as PR manager by Anne-Marie Hansen.

Kuoni said in a statement : 'It is the company's (Kuoni's) duty to ensure that misappropriation of funds is not tolerated, despite the fact that Gino was a well-liked and a long serving member of staff.'

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