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Former Continental Airlines Sales Agent Charged in Fake Ticket Voucher Scheme April 1, 2010

Posted by jefhenninger in News.
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VICTORIA SCARDIGNO, a former sales agent for Continental Airlines at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, was arrested this morning on wire fraud charges stemming from a $1 million scheme involving the sale of hundreds of fake ticket vouchers.

According to the Complaint unsealed in Manhattan federal court:

While employed at the airline, SCARDIGNO misappropriated from its offices hundreds of vouchers that the airline uses to compensate customers who had already paid for travel on Continental Airlines for flight delays, cancellations or situations in which customers were denied boarding due to, for example, overbooking. After taking the vouchers, SCARDIGNO hatched a scheme to sell them to prospective passengers, on the fraudulent pretext that they could be redeemed for a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world. SCARDIGNO sold over 1,750 such vouchers, at a purchase price of approximately $500 to $600. SCARDIGNO took in approximately $1 million from the fraud, which was deposited directly into her personal bank account.

In fact, Continental Airlines offers no such voucher program, and SCARDIGNO’s representations that the vouchers could be redeemed for air travel were false. When passengers attempted to redeem their vouchers through SCARDIGNO, she used some of the fraud proceeds to purchase tickets for these passengers, in order to keep the fraudulent scheme going. As a result, since the cost of the tickets far exceeded the cost of the vouchers, most of the voucher purchasers were unable to redeem their vouchers. SCARDIGNO used at least some of the illicit proceeds to pay off personal debts and to purchase thousands of dollars of luxury goods from stores such as Louis Vuitton and Coach.

SCARDIGNO, 32, of Weehawken, New Jersey, is charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, and restitution.

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