You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Kenner Man Pleads to Airline Baggage Scam Involving Over $550,000 In False Claims

NEW ORLEANS, LA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that PERNELL ANTHONY JONES, JR., age 31, of Kenner, Louisiana, pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349 and Mail Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341.

According to court documents, beginning in or around 2015, JONES took flights with commercial airlines under false or fictitious identities using fraudulent identification cards.  When he arrived at the destination airport, JONES falsely claimed that his baggage was lost and requested reimbursement to compensate him for his lost luggage.  Through this scheme, JONES and his co-conspirators submitted over 180 false claims to commercial airlines, including American, Alaska, Southwest, United, and JetBlue, requesting over $550,000 in reimbursement.  In total, the airlines paid over $300,000 in fraudulent claims.

JONES’s plea documents state that, on April 7, 2018, JONES was arrested at Dallas Love Airport while attempting to go through screening by the Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”) with 36 fraudulent driver’s licenses and 47 credit cards under fictitious names.  On March 5, 2020, JONES was arrested again while attempting to pick up a reimbursement check for a fraudulent baggage claim at Louis Armstrong International Airport in Kenner, Louisiana.  Law enforcement searched JONES’s residence on March 5, 2020 and found 34 fraudulent driver’s licenses; 21 fake work identification cards; and a number of fraudulent airline employee badges containing JONES’s photograph.

For each count, JONES faces a maximum term of twenty (20) years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000, up to three (3) years of supervised release, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.  U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan set sentencing for February 24, 2021.

U.S. Attorney Evans would like to acknowledge the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the City of Dallas Police Department. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Carboni.

 

Updated November 23, 2021