Friday, October 30, 2020

JetBlue Airways employee jailed for scamming the airline $1.2 million

-

Former JetBlue gate agent Tiffany Jenkins, 31, has pleaded guilty in a US federal court to three counts of wire fraud after upgrading the plane tickets of friends, family and acquaintances over the course of roughly 15 months.

The scam, according to reporting by the Boston Globe, cost JetBlue approximately US$785,000 (NZ$1.2 million).

From roughly July 2016 through September 2017, Jenkins accessed the JetBlue reservation database to convert low-cost plane tickets into more expensive ones for more than 100 people. One example cited by Travel + Leisure involved reservations for a quick, inexpensive flight from Las Vegas to Long Beach, California, being switched to a more expensive long-haul somewhere else.

“As a gate agent, Jenkins had access to the airline’s computer reservation database and had the ability to use a special code, referred to as an involuntary exchange or ‘INVOL’, to change flights for customers at no additional cost,” US Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a statement. “This code enables agents to change flights for customers who miss their flights or experience a death in the family.”

- Advertisement -

Jenkins was arrested in November 2018 after carrying out 505 ticket exchanges. She faces the possibility of prison time and steep fines when she is sentenced in January.

“The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of US$250,000 or twice the gross loss or gain, whichever is greater,” Lelling said.

Jenkins isn’t the first airline employee to use her position to obtain tickets fraudulently. In 2010, United Airlines staffer Mercedes B. Stafford was sentenced to 30 months in prison for fraudulently booking more than 525 plane tickets for friends, family and associates from May 2007 and October 2009.

And this past March, the Chicago Tribune reported, United fired 35 employees for selling their “buddy passes”, which are meant to allow their friends and family members to fly standby at reduced rates.

- Advertisement -

Fraud, whether committed by employees or by regular passengers, weighs heavily on the aviation industry. According to the International Air Transport Association, credit-card fraud alone costs airlines nearly US$1 billion per year.

MUST READ

Ukraine’s court strips critical power from anti-corruption agency

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has stripped the country’s anti-corruption agency of some of its critical powers. The high court’s ruling published on October 28 declared it...

Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak sent back to prison for 17 years in corruption case

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was ordered back to prison on Thursday (Oct 29) as the country's Supreme Court upheld a 17-year jail...

Nigerian court declines to issue international arrest warrant for fugitive ex-Petroleum Minister in corruption case

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, refused an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an arrest...

South Korea’s former Vice Justice Minister sentenced to jail for bribery and sexual favors

Former Vice Justice Minister Kim Hak-eui, the figure at the center of one of Korea’s biggest political sex scandals, was placed under pretrial detention...

Beam Suntory Inc. fined $19.6 million in foreign bribery case

Beam Suntory Inc. (Beam), a Chicago-based company that produces and sells distilled beverages, has agreed to pay a criminal monetary penalty of $19,572,885 to...

Subscribe For More

Get our daily notification on the latest financial crimes news around the World

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Beam Suntory Inc. fined $19.6 million in foreign bribery case

Beam Suntory Inc. (Beam), a Chicago-based company that produces and sells distilled beverages, has agreed to pay a criminal monetary penalty of $19,572,885 to...

Mid-Small financial institutions to benefit from Oracle’s Anti-money laundering protection

Oracle today announced new cloud services to help mid-sized banks combat money laundering and outsmart financial crime. Oracle Financial Crime and Compliance Management Cloud Service brings...

Namibia probes oil firm Acer petroleum over bribes paid to government officials

THE mines and energy ministry says it is investigating allegations that an oil company bribed some senior officials to fast-track licence applications. The senior officials...

Former Blue Bell Creameries CEO indicted for fraud linked to 2015 listeria outbreak

The former president and CEO of Blue Bell Creameries L.P., a Texas ice cream company, was indicted Tuesday on wire fraud charges in connection with a scheme...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks