Former Delta Employee Accused Of Approving $22 Million In Fake Invoices

The scary Delta lady does not approve of smoking or mail fraud. (photo: Bill Binns)

The scary Delta lady does not approve of smoking or mail fraud. (photo: Bill Binns)

If you’ve ever worked at a large, profitable company that spends billions of dollars a year, you’ve probably thought about how easily one (but certainly not you!) could sneak fake charges through the system without anyone even noticing. And for nearly 10 years, an employee at Northwest (and then Delta) managed to make that daydream a reality, allegedly siphoning off $22 million through bogus invoices.

Minneapolis Business Journal reports on the indictment [PDF] against the former airline employee and his alleged accomplice that was handed down earlier this month and unsealed last week.

According to the indictment, between 2004 and 2013, a supervisor of Northwest’s Minneapolis-based communications group — responsible for installing, maintaining and upgrading radio communications technology in the airline’s control and crisis centers — and an associate in California allegedly ran a scheme where the airline employee would approve invoices for the other man’s company, Airborne Voice and Data.

And this wasn’t a matter of padding Airborne’s invoices. Prosecutors claim that Airborne never provided any of the good or services for which it invoiced.

Some of the money paid to Airborne was kicked back to the airline employee, who had started his own front company called North Communications Group.

The merger with Delta had no apparent effect on the scam, as it continued for another few years.

The defendants now face one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and 96 counts of mail fraud for all the checks that the airlines paid over the years, ranging from $8,850 to more than $228,000.

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  1. CzarChasm says:

    $22 million? These guys will probably get like 6 months in jail or something.

  2. GoldHillDave says:

    I guess they never thought of quitting while they were ahead.

  3. furiousd says:

    $228,000 for a $22 million crime? I need to start up a scam!