For two former airline industry leaders, lost award charts are the least of their problems.

According to the FBI, a ten-year plus scheme to defraud Northwest and Delta Air Lines of more than $36 million has led to one co-conspirator to be sentenced to ten years and another to 80 months (six years and eight months) in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

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The FBI reports that defendant Paul Anderson and his co-defendant Michael Yedor submitted false invoices to Delta and Northwest (purchased by Delta in 2008; merged in 12/2009) for work that was never performed.

According to court records, from at least 1999 through 2013, Anderson and Yedor engaged in a scheme to defraud the airlines by submitting numerous false invoices on behalf of a company purportedly owned by Yedor, Airborne Voice and Data. The invoices sought payment from the airlines for goods provided and services supposedly rendered by Airborne Voice and Data, when in fact both Anderson and Yedor knew that Yedor’s company had not provided any such goods or services.

According to the FBI Press Release on Anderson’s sentencing:

In order to receive payment for the false invoices, Yedor sent the invoices to Anderson, who had the authority to approve them for payment. Once Anderson approved the invoices, falsely indicating that the goods or services had been received, the airlines issued payments to Airborne Voice and Data. In exchange for approving each of the invoices, Anderson received a portion of the proceeds of the fraud. The defendants acknowledged that they received more than $36 million from the airlines during the scheme.

Anderson was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $36 million and to forfeit his individual retirement accounts. Anderson was indicted on June 10, 2014, and pleaded guilty on September 15, 2014, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Co-defendant Yedor was sentenced on January 9, 2015 to ten years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $36 million, in addition to a personal money judgment of more than $36 million, and forfeiture of his interest in an array of real properties and luxury goods, including a Beverly Hills mansion and a 71.9 foot yacht.

J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated:

The FBI remains well positioned and committed toward investigating those individuals who would engage in such complex wire fraud based schemes that generate high loss amounts as seen in this case. The sentencing of Mr. Anderson brings to a close a lengthy fraud scheme that spanned almost 15 years and targeted two major airlines.

Delta Air Lines cooperated fully with the investigation.


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