Travel agent scams Delta out of 42 million reward miles worth almost $2m

Travel agent scams Delta out of 42 million reward miles worth almost $2m

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A travel agent allegedly scammed Delta for 42 million frequent flyer points.

A manager at a Chicago travel agency has been charged with “illegally reaping” more than 42 million Delta Air Lines miles worth almost $2 million.

Gennady Podolsky, a Ukrainian and American citizen, is accused of linking Vega International Travel Services customers to a fertility centre which is owned and operated by a family member of the the travel agency’s president.

When Vega Travel customers flew Delta, Podolsky entered that SkyBonus number even though they weren’t fertility centre employees.

He is alleged to have accumulated and redeemed more than 42 million points, causing Delta to lose $1.75 million after utilising reward certificates for free air travel.

Prosecutors say Podolsky’s clients were primarily individuals of Russian and Eastern European descent who were living abroad.

“The fraudulent accumulation of frequent flyer miles in the travel industry may seem like a victimless crime, however, large corporations stand to lose significant profits”, said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta.

“The FBI will do everything in its power to protect companies and to stop anyone who participates in this corrupt behavior.”

He is charged with 12 counts of wire fraud.