Aviation News

August 17, 2010

Former British Airways Employee Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Ticket Fraud Scheme

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By: BNO News
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A former employee of British Airways was sentenced to three years in prison on Monday for re-selling tickets at a false rate, police said on Tuesday.

Mark Smith, 36, bought low-price advance flight tickets while employed at British Airways and arranged for the dates on them to be changed. He would then sell them onto the public as last minute tickets at a much higher rate, making him a considerable profit.

Smith was charged with one count of Conspiracy to Commit Fraud contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977 and four counts of Transferring Criminal Property contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

British Airways alerted police in May 2008 to irregularities in relation to the purchase of their flight tickets.

After an investigation by police, three people were arrested in October 2008 and were subsequently charged with fraud offenses. Following trial at Isleworth Crown Court, two defendants were acquitted of any involvement in the scam and Mark Smith was the only person found guilty.

“Mark Smith abused his trusted position to defraud his employers and mislead the general public who purchased tickets from him in good faith,” said Detective Inspector Barry Slade of Heathrow. “This conviction shows that police will work closely with an airline to detect this type of crime and bring those responsible before the court.”