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Sept. 3, 2009

FORMER AIRLINE CORPORATE SECURITY OFFICER CONVICTED OF DEFRAUDING EMPLOYER IN ELECTRONIC TRAVEL CERTIFICATE SCAM

(HOUSTON) - Rebecca Anne Dewvall, 42, of Channelview, Texas, has been convicted of executing a scheme to defraud her former employer, Continental Airlines Inc. in connection with Continental’s Electronic Travel Certificate (ETC) program. Dewvall, formerly with Continental’s corporate security team, pleaded guilty to wire fraud this morning before United States District Judge David Hittner.

Continental provides its customers with ETCs under a variety of circumstances, including as compensation for disservice incurred by passengers on prior travel arrangements, in exchange for passengers’ cancellation of their non-refundable travel or as promotional measures for the airline. At this morning’s hearing, Dewvalladmitted that between March 2007 and May 2009, she used her knowledge and skill as a corporate security employee to defraud Continental by accessing Continental’s computer system and finding high value ETCs that were nearing expiration, making fictitious fully-refundable travel reservations that would consume the bulk of the value of the ETCs, subsequently making changes in the reservation at a minimal cost in order to introduce her credit or debit card into the transaction and ultimately cancelling the reservation, causing Continental to refund the full value of the travel to her account. Continental’s corporate security team identified almost 150 different ETCs which Dewvall purloined for her fraudulent scheme, causing a loss to Continental of approximately $110,000.

Dewvall faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 as punishment at sentencing which is set for Dec. 3, 2009, at 9:45 a.m.

The criminal charges are the result of an investigation by the FBI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jason Varnado.

 

 

 

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