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Former Delta employee issues tickets for family and friends; enters guilty plea

The former employee issued over 230 tickets to family, friends and more.
Credit: AP
FILE - Delta Air Lines passenger jets rest on the tarmac, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at Boston Logan International Airport (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

MINNEAPOLIS — Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines lost nearly $500,000 after an employee sold fraudulently issued Delta Air Lines tickets to various individuals, including family members and friends.

The employee worked as a Delta Air Lines ticketing specialist in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in north Georgia.

Their investigation shows the man issued "non-revenue tickets without a corresponding Non-Cash Incentive Certificate," which caused a tax liability for Delta even though they had no associated cost.

The former employee issued over 230 tickets with a lost revenue total of approximately $447,000, the DA's office reported. The fraudulent tickets were sold, then often paid for through Square. The office added that many of the tickets included his personal email address as the contact for the passenger. The illegal scheme took place from late 2016 through December 2017.

“[Name redacted] exploited his position of trust at Delta to enrich himself by selling fraudulent tickets,” U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said. “He was even bold enough to use his personal email address as the contact person for some of the illegal transactions.”

Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, added that “the FBI will always strive to expose corrupt employees that take advantage of their trusted positions of employment.”

Sentencing for the former Delta employee is scheduled for June 7, 2023, before U.S. District Judge Victoria M. Calvert. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Huber is prosecuting the case.

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