Free flights lands fraudster in jail.
A former airline employee has been sentenced to 30 months in prison after being found guilty of stealing the personal details of his colleagues in order to obtain thousands of dollars worth of flights with Spirit Airlines for free.
Hubbard Bell, 32, of Houston, Texas, previously worked for Phoenix-based Mesa Airlines, where he was provided free access to Spirit Airlines tickets.
However, after his employment ended in October 2015, Bell conspired with others to sell stolen and unauthorized information of Mesa employees in order to continue to book free Spirit Airlines flights for themselves and others.
The scam involved Bell having to input personal identifying information and a unique verification code into an online booking system to book the free tickets.
The passenger would then show a counterfeit employee ID at the airport to board the flight.
District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald said approximately 1,952 flights between February 2016 and November 2017 have been connected to the scam.
Bell was sentenced to two and a half years in prison and was also ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to Spirit Airlines.
The other defendants in this case – Kamille Jemison, Alphonso Lloyd, Arnold Nichols, Femi Felix-Ukwu, and Monique Ferguson – have all pleaded not guilty to criminal charges and are scheduled to go on trial in April.