Lost Luggage Scam Results in Charges Against Louisiana Man
Over the course of many years and many thousands of miles of airline travel, I can honestly say that issues I have had with luggage can be counted on one hand. Granted, those issues were huge issues at the time, still, luggage problems for most flyers are few and far between.
If those issues weren't few and far between the airlines would be in worse financial shape than they are now. For example, in one instance where my wife's bag did not make the trip from Atlanta Georgia to Rome Italy, the airlines forked out over $500 in lost luggage compensation. Which we used to purchase a few items that were absolutely necessary but before any replacement clothes or items were purchased, the lost luggage showed up at our hotel.
So basically, for a few hours of inconvenience, the airlines paid us $500 bucks to go shopping. Now, I have to admit, I thought at the time that "losing luggage would make for a nice cottage industry or second job" but fortunately for me, common sense won out. But in the case of another fellow from Louisiana, the lure of easy money through lost luggage was too big to turn away from.
Authorities say Pernell Anthony Jones of Kenner has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud. All because it is alleged that he came up with a scheme to defraud airlines of money by fraudulently claiming lost luggage.
Court documents suggest that back in 2015 Jones flew several times under false identities. During those trips, it was alleged that Jones submitted more than 180 false claims for lost luggage. The total of his reimbursement requests was estimated to be in excess of $550,000.
Again, according to court documents, Jones was paid more than $300,000 because of those fraudulent claims. Jones was arrested in 2018 while going through screening when it was discovered that he had three dozen fake driver's licenses and 47 credit cards under fake names.
In 2020 Jones was arrested again, this time in New Orleans while attempting to pick up a reimbursement check. A subsequent search of Jones residence turned up 34 fraudulent driver's licenses, almost two dozen fake work ID cards and several fake airline employee badges.
Jones will be sentenced for his crimes on February 22, 2022, following his guilty plea that was entered last week. Based on the law Jones could be facing up to 20 years in prison and a fine of a quarter of a million dollars or more.
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