A troubled former reality TV star and ex-NRL cheerleader with a “serious” drug problem has admitted to stealing three credit cards from attendees at a buck’s party where she was waitressing.
Jordan Ray Finlayson, 31, faced Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday via audiovisual link, where she was dressed in her prison greens with her long, blonde hair pulled into a half-up ponytail.
The former Beauty and the Geek contestant was charged with possession of identity information with the intention of committing fraud after she was caught with NSW drivers licences and debit cards of three men between January 29 and February 2 at Botany.
According to police, Finlayson had photos of the cards on her phone, which they claim she gave to someone else to use to defraud the three victims.
The Rosebery resident was working as a waitress at a private bachelor’s party when she took photos of men’s credit cards and licences.
“The Buck’s party was a pool party and the guests put their bags in the front room, leaving their wallets and possessions,” court documents state.
She took the photos while using the front room to get dressed, court documents state.
In the weeks following the buck’s party, each of the three men noticed their bank cards had been compromised and multiple transactions were made without their knowledge.
One of the men received a notice from Centrelink that he had been paid $750 from the NSW pandemic leave disaster payments, and a payment to corporate bookmaking service Neds.com.au for $4,900.
He also attempted to lodge a tax return in April this year and was told one had already been submitted and an ABN was applied for in his name.
The second victim had his bank account details updated in Centrelink and noticed several fraud transactions, including coffee purchased at Haymarket and Uber rides he did not take.
“Subsequently, he received a notification from Centrelink that a $750 Covid disaster payment had been made and processed in his name,” court documents state.
The third victim had five of his credit and debit cards used without his knowledge.
Finlayson was arrested on February 17, when police found images of the men’s licences and ten of their bank cards on her phone.
She has remained in custody ever since.
The prosecution does not allege Finlayson had anything to do with the fraudulent transactions, nor that she received any benefit from having their licences and bank card details.
The 31-year-old initially pleaded not guilty to the charge in March, but quietly changed her plea in July when she was due to undergo a hearing.
Defence barrister Daniel Grippi told the court Finlayson had been on parole when she breached it with this offence in February.
He urged the magistrate not to sentence her to more custody, so she can be taken to a residential rehabilitation centre to work on her “serious” drug issues.
Magistrate Alison Viney acknowledged the guilty plea and allowed a slight discount on sentence.
“This is not a trifling offence; it carries seven years’ imprisonment,” Ms Viney told the former reality star.
“People steal identity information for a whole raft of nefarious purposes … not saying that was your intent, but somebody got ahold of this information which you acquired and they did put it to use.
“It is so incredibly disruptive to someone’s life.”
Ms. Viney sentenced the 31-year-old to a Community Corrections Order to be served in the community for 12 months.
However, Finlayson will have to undergo a further parole hearing for the breach as a bid for release.
“At that time, I hope you’ll be given the opportunity to attend residential rehab,” the magistrate said.
“I sincerely hope that once admitted to a rehab program your path forward is a much more successful one.”
Finlayson nodded and thanked the magistrate.
Her recent struggles with the law have emerged only months after the former reality TV star pledged to turn her life around when she was released from prison for drug offenses stemming from her $5000-a-day drug addiction.
Finlayson will face a parole hearing in the coming months.