A Filipino woman who masterminded an airline ticket scam and swindled three businessmen out of more than $16 million was jailed for four years yesterday by the District Court. Jenina Medrano, 37, a Hong Kong permanent resident, falsely claimed she operated an investment scheme in which discounted tickets from major airlines could be purchased in bulk and resold to large institutions for a guaranteed profit. The three investors then deposited $16 million over 22 months into either Medrano's personal account or overseas accounts controlled by her. Prosecutor Johnny Chan said no airline tickets were purchased and Medrano was not a travel agent. She pleaded guilty to 23 charges of procuring an entry in a bank record by deception between March 2001 and January last year. Deputy Judge David Dufton said Medrano was the 'mastermind of the scheme' and she failed to make any restitution to the three victims. The judge also noted that the scam was 'far larger' than what had been portrayed by the charges. After considering the scale and duration of the offences, the judge adopted a starting point of six years and reduced it by one-third to reflect her guilty plea. The prosecutor told the court the three victims genuinely believed the defendant was able to buy discounted plane tickets from airlines such as Cathay Pacific Airways, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Medrano had claimed some of her clients buying these tickets included large companies, the court heard. The three victims included a director from financial advisory firm Towry Law Asia (HK), its former associate director and a client of the firm. They also signed numerous written contracts with Medrano, who promised a high rate of return on their investments. Mr Chan said the victims initially received returns but the payments were later stopped. Medrano was arrested on June 12 last year. In mitigation, barrister John Murray said the so-called investment scheme was 'simply word of mouth' and there was no business registration or documents of any kind. He said Medrano had apologised to the victims. Police said the scam involved a total of 11 victims and $37.8 million.