Baggage claim: Two men charged with stealing $550,000 from airlines in lost luggage scam

These guys now have loads of baggage, authorities say.

A pair of frequent flyers from Louisiana have been charged with stealing over $500,000 from airways by submitting dozens of phony misplaced baggage claims, prosecutors stated.

Pernell Anthony Jones, Jr., 31, of Kenner, and Donmonick Martin, 29, of Chalmette, are accused of operating the rip-off on quite a few airways, submitting misplaced baggage claims following 180 flights out and in of Louis Armstrong Worldwide Airport in New Orleans, regardless of by no means truly travelling with any luggage, in response to court docket paperwork.  

Prosecutors say that beginning in 2015, Jones would purchase tickets for the flights on-line utilizing false identities and preloaded reward playing cards. He would then current faux identification on the airport and acquire a baggage declare ticket after paying the checked bag price, however wouldn’t truly examine a bag.

Upon touchdown, prosecutors say Jones would inform the airline that they had misplaced his baggage and file a declare stating the bag contained helpful gadgets value greater than $3,500, the utmost compensation allowed below regulation. He would put Martin’s deal with on the declare, in response to court docket paperwork. 

When the bag wouldn’t flip up after a month, the airways would pay out the $3,500, sending a examine to Martin’s dwelling in Chalmette, prosecutors stated. In all, the airways — which included American Airways
United Airways
Jet Blue
Southwest Airways

and Alaska Airways

— paid $550,000 to Jones and Martin, prosecutors stated.

Jones and Martin are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Jones faces as much as 20 years and Martin faces as much as 5 years if convicted.

Jones and Martin couldn’t instantly be reached for remark and it wasn’t instantly clear if that they had retained attorneys. Martin’s first look in court docket was scheduled for Oct. 6 and Jones’ was set for Oct. 13.

A spokesman for American Airways stated: “We’re happy the Division of Justice is pursuing this matter.” A consultant for Southwest had no remark and messages despatched to the opposite airways weren’t instantly returned. 

In 2020, airways misplaced simply 0.04% of the almost 209 million luggage they dealt with in the USA, in response to the U.S. Division of Transportation. Most of these have been finally recovered and returned to their proprietor, with simply 5% of people who went lacking by no means being discovered. | Baggage declare: Two males charged with stealing $550,000 from airways in misplaced baggage rip-off


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