Roller Derby Team President Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Fraud Involving Airline Tickets for Family, Teammates
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 19, 2010|
CINCINNATI—The president of the Cincinnati Roller Girls, Mercedes B. Stafford, who skates under the name “Sadistic Sadie,” was sentenced in United States District Court in Covington, Kentucky to 30 months of imprisonment. Stafford illegally obtained more than 525 airline tickets between May 2007 and October 2009 through her other job as an employee of United Airlines at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Elizabeth Fries, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louisville Field Office (FBI), and Chief Kevin Murphy, Cincinnati Airport Police Department, announced the sentence handed down today by United States District Judge Danny C. Reeves.
Stafford, 34, of Cincinnati, pleaded guilty on June 1, 2010 to one count of wire fraud. She fraudulently bought “involuntary tickets” that airlines issue when a passenger’s flight is cancelled or delayed. She created fake ticket numbers that she used to buy real tickets on United and other airlines for herself, her friends, her family, the Cincinnati Roller Girls, and other individuals associated with roller derby events, including other roller derby teams. The tickets were for flights through the United States, as well as to Cancun, Mexico and Italy.
Stafford admitted that she fraudulently booked more than 525 plane tickets that were worth more than $850,000. Stafford also admitted that she received more than $50,000 in payment from the individuals or organizations who benefitted from the plane tickets.
Stewart commended the investigation by FBI agents and Airport Police officers, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy S. Mangan, who prosecuted the case.