Former Railroad Employee Sentenced to Two and a Half Years in Federal Prison for Fraudulently Obtaining Disability Benefits
CHICAGO — A customer service representative for Southwest Airlines fraudulently created and sold travel vouchers worth more than $1.87 million, according to an indictment returned in federal court in Chicago.
While working for Southwest at Midway Airport in Chicago, DAJUAN MARTIN used fictitious customer names to fraudulently generate the vouchers without the airline’s knowledge or approval, the indictment states. Martin then sold the vouchers at below market value to co-defendant NED BROOKS and others in exchange for cash, the indictment states. The vouchers, known as “Southwest Luv Vouchers,” were supposed to be used to compensate customers who had unfavorable travel experiences on the airline.
The indictment was returned Monday. It charges Martin, 36, of Bolingbrook, Ill., with 12 counts of wire fraud, and Brooks, 46, of Chicago, with four counts of wire fraud. Arraignments in federal court in Chicago have not yet been scheduled.
The indictment was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.