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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

Friday, January 9, 2015

California Man Sentenced To Ten Years For Defrauding Delta And Northwest Air Lines Of More Than $36 Million

ATLANTA – Michael Yedor has been sentenced to ten years in prison for his role in orchestrating a scheme to defraud Northwest and Delta Air Lines of more than $36 million.

“The scope and magnitude of this fraudulent scheme is astounding,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  “The millions of dollars the defendants stole hurt the honest operations of an important company and its many customers, as well as other honest vendors who play by the rules.”

J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “The sentencing of Yedor represents the end of not only a complex scheme to defraud Northwest Airlines and Delta Airlines but also the resulting extensive federal investigation into those involved.  The FBI remains well positioned to investigate these types of complex white collar based crimes and will continue to remain responsive to the needs of the corporate sector when these cases are uncovered.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: Yedor’s co-defendant Paul Anderson had been an employee of Northwest Airlines since 1979.  In 2008, Delta Air Lines purchased Northwest. The two airlines merged into a single company in December 2009, at which time Anderson became a managerial employee of Delta, working in its Minneapolis, Minn., office.  

From at least 1999 through 2013, Yedor and Anderson orchestrated a scheme to defraud Northwest and, later, Delta, by submitting numerous false invoices on behalf of a company, Airborne Voice and Data, purportedly owned by Yedor. The invoices sought payment from the airlines for goods provided and services supposedly rendered by Airborne Voice and Data. In fact, as both Anderson and Yedor knew, Yedor’s company had not provided any goods or services to the airlines.

In order to receive payment for the false invoices, Yedor sent the invoices to Anderson, who had the authority to approve them for payment. Once Anderson approved the invoices, falsely indicating that the goods or services had been received, the airlines issued payments to Airborne Voice and Data.  In exchange for approving each of the invoices, Anderson received a portion of the proceeds of the fraud. The defendants acknowledged that they received at least $36 million from the airlines during the scheme.

Michael Yedor, 62, of Los Angeles, Calif., was sentenced by United States District Judge Timothy Batten to ten years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $36 million, in addition to a personal money judgment of more than $36 million, and forfeiture of his interest in an array of real properties and luxury goods, including a Beverly Hills mansion and a 71.9 foot yacht.  Yedor was indicted on June 10, 2014, and pleaded guilty on October 20, 2014, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Co-defendant Paul Anderson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud on September 15, 2014. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 23, 2015.

Delta Air Lines cooperated fully with the investigation.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Assistant United States Attorneys Glenn D. Baker, Jamie L. Mickelson, and Jenny Turner are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.

Updated April 8, 2015