Kenner man pleads guilty to airline baggage scam

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Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 9:18 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:51 PM CST
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KENNER, La. (WVUE) - A Kenner man pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday for an airline baggage scam that cost up to $550,000, according to U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans.

Pernell Anthony Jones Jr., 31, will be sentenced for conspiracy to commit mail fraud on Feb. 24, 2022, according to the court.

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 coconspirators 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.

On April 7, 2018, Jones was arrested at a Dallas airport while going through TSA checks. He was in possession of 36 fake driver’s licenses and 47 credit cards under fake names. He was arrested again on March 5 last year while attempting to pick up a reimbursement check for a fraudulent baggage claim at Louis Armstrong International Airport in Kenner.

Law enforcement searched Jones’s residence that day 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 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000, up to three years of supervised release, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.

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