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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          March 13, 2012                   

FORMER AIRLINE SERVICES EMPLOYEE SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR WIRE FRAUD

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A former Regional Elite Airline Services, LLC (Regional Elite) employee was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison by United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. for wire fraud.  Jared Ryan Phillips, 24, of Charleston, admitted that beginning on or about February 14, 2011, he was involved in a scheme that created vouchers on the United Airlines reservation system using fictitious passenger names, passport numbers, and dates of birth.  Phillips further admitted that he converted those vouchers into real tickets associated with a ticket price.  After converting the vouchers into real tickets, the defendant admitted that he would rebate the ticket price onto a debit or credit cards linked to accounts held by him and an associate.  At the time, the defendant successfully rebated $110,266.90 to the aforementioned accounts.    

On April 4, 2011, the defendant used an airline reservation system at Yeager Airport in Charleston, via an internet transmission to a corresponding system in Denver, Colorado to create a United Airline voucher for a fictitious person for a flight from West Virginia to Germany.  Phillips further admitted to fraudulently creating vouchers for United Airlines flights from West Virginia to Israel, using the real identities of individuals who used the vouchers.  In total, the intended loss to United Airlines was $127,836.10.   

In addition to the prison term, the Court ordered the defendant to pay restitution. 

The United States Secret Service and the Yeager Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Meredith George handled the prosecution. 

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