Two Men Charged with Defrauding Delta and Northwest Airlines of $22 Million
ATLANTA—Michael Yedor and Paul Anderson have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that they participated in a long-running scheme to defraud Delta Airlines of millions of dollars. Yedor was arrested in San Diego, Calif. on Saturday, June 21, 2014.
“The longevity and scope of the scheme to defraud Delta is simply astonishing,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “The indictment is an important first step in finally bringing these defendants to justice after so many years of engaging in fraud.”
J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “The FBI was not only uniquely positioned to investigate and present for prosecution this extensive case of fraud targeting Delta Airlines, but also to coordinate the arrest of one of those individuals upon his return to the U.S. The FBI would like to thank our many law enforcement partners for their assistance in this matter, particularly those involved with the apprehension of Mr. Yedor at San Diego, California.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the indictment, and other information presented in court: Anderson had been an employee of Northwest Airlines since 1979. In 2008, Delta Airlines purchased Northwest. The two airlines merged into a single company in December 2009, at which time Anderson became an employee of Delta working in its Minneapolis, Minn., office.
The indictment alleges that, from at least 2004 through 2013, Anderson was involved with Yedor in a scheme to defraud Northwest and, later, Delta, by submitting numerous false invoices on behalf of a company, Airborne Voice and Data, purportedly owned by Yedor. The invoices sought payment from the airlines for goods provided and services supposedly rendered by Airborne Voice and Data, when in fact, both Anderson and Yedor knew that Yedor’s company had not provided any such goods or services.
The indictment also alleges that Yedor sent the invoices to Anderson to be approved. Anderson approved the fraudulent invoices, which caused the airlines to issue payments to Airborne Voice and Data. In exchange for approving each of the invoices, Anderson received a portion of the proceeds of the fraud. The indictment alleges that Yedor and Anderson caused Northwest and Delta to issue approximately $22 million in payments to Airborne on the basis of the false invoices between 2004 and 2013.
Yedor, 62, of Los Angeles, Calif., and Anderson, 57, of Apple Valley, Minn., were indicted on June 10, 2014, and have each been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and ninety-six counts of mail fraud. The indictment was unsealed after Yedor’s arrest on Saturday, June 21, 2014.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
Delta Airlines is fully cooperating with the investigation.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The arrest of Michael Yedor involved the assistance of and the FBI’s coordination with several federal and local authorities in locating and interdicting Yedor’s motor yacht, including: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine; U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Border Patrol; San Diego Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM); San Diego Harbor Police; and San Diego Joint Harbor Operations Center.
Assistant United States Attorneys Glenn D. Baker and Jamie L. Mickelson are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.Pressefirstname.lastname@example.org or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.