Woman Sentenced to Four Years In Prison For Defrauding Travel Agencies And Airlines In Ticket Fraud Scheme
Las Vegas, Nev. – A woman who defrauded local travel agencies and airlines of over $1 million by unlawfully accessing the airline reservation system to obtain first class airline tickets at a discount, was sentenced today to 50 months in prison and ordered to pay over $500,000 in restitution, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
SUSAN CARTER, age 55, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty in February to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud, admitting that she and her former husband, Greg Carter, age 50, and daughter, Jaime Abarghoie, age 27, gained access to airline reservation systems and caused first or business class tickets to issue on major air carriers at prices that were much less than the published fare. The defendants then sold the tickets to unwitting air travelers for a price far in excess of that by which they were obtained through the reservation system.
The local travel agencies affected were Boulder City Travel, in Boulder City, Nevada; One Stop Tours and Travel of Las Vegas, in Las Vegas; Aristocrat Travel in Las Vegas; and Above and Beyond Travel in Henderson, Nevada. The victim airline carriers include American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Continental Airlines, and Swiss Air.
Greg Carter was convicted by a jury in March 2006 of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 19 counts of wire fraud and money laundering, and Jaime Abarghoie pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They are scheduled for sentencing on August 4, 2006.
SUSAN CARTER admitted that from about November 2000 to August 2003, she induced local travel agencies to permit them to use an automated reservation system, which the agencies used to make airline reservations and to obtain airline tickets. She did so by making false representations to the travel agencies, such as that they were interested in purchasing the agency or that they were outside sales agents who serviced frequent flier customers. At various times during the period of the scheme, the defendants established and maintained businesses, such as Skye-River and Carter Entertainment, in order to effect the conspiracy to defraud.
The defendants agreed to forfeit up to $1,760,000 in personal and real properties derived from the proceeds of their crimes. Those properties include approximately $115,000 in cash; real property at 3009 Beach View Court and 3317 Chesterbrook Court in Las Vegas; a 1996 Mercedes Benz sedan; a 1994 Rolls Royce sedan; and a 2001 Ford Mustang.
The case is being investigated by Special Agents with the United States Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven W. Myhre and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nancy J. Koppe and Daniel D. Hollingsworth.