Omaha Woman Sentenced for Wire Fraud
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that on January 30, 2017, Patricia Urbanovsky of Omaha, Nebraska, age 31, was sentenced for sixteen (16) counts of wire fraud. The Honorable Joseph F. Bataillon, Senior United States District Court Judge, sentenced Urbanovsky to a term of sixty-three (63) months imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. After her release from prison, Urbanovsky will begin a term of supervised release of 3 years. Urbanovsky was also ordered to make restitution totaling almost $4.7 million dollars. Urbanovsky was immediately remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal following the sentencing hearing.
An investigation conducted by the Omaha Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service determined that as a part of a scheme and artifice to defraud, from on or about May 2014, and continuing through on or about at least March 2015, Urbanovsky personally, and through Creative Creations, marketed and promoted the sale of discounted vacation packages and vouchers associated with Southwest Airlines and Southwest Vacations. The investigation determined, however, that actual airline ticket and vacation package costs associated with the sold vouchers were significantly more than the amount a customer paid to purchase the voucher or vacation package.
As the scheme progressed, it was Urbanovsky’s intention that money used to purchase actual airline tickets or vacation packages for early voucher customers would come from money paid in by newer voucher customers. While this practice enabled the continuance of the scheme, it was fundamentally unprofitable as the actual cost of individual airline tickets purchased by Urbanovsky consistently exceeded the cash collected from the corresponding sales of vouchers. In spite of this, Urbanovsky continued to solicit customers by promising vouchers below the market rate.
In furtherance of the scheme, Urbanovsky falsely represented to employees and customers she had a professional relationship with a purported Vice President of Southwest Vacations and that through this individual she was able to receive a discounted price on Southwest Airline tickets. To further the scheme, Urbanovsky created an email account which she used to send emails appearing to be from the purported Vice President of Southwest Vacations. These emails contained false representations suggesting that Urbanovsky was able to receive discounts on flights purchased from Southwest Airlines. Southwest Airlines had no affiliation with Urbanovsky or Creative Creations.
Square, Incorporated, which was the third party credit card processor for Creative Creations and the primary victim, suffered more than $4.6 million in losses as a result of credit card charge backs from Urbanovsky’s Creative Creations accounts. In total, 9 victims sustained losses totaling almost $4.7 million dollars.
This case was investigated by the Omaha Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service.