NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana man has pleaded guilty in an airline baggage scam that resulted in more than $300,000 in fraudulent claims, federal prosecutors said.
Pernell Anthony Jones, Jr., 31, of Kenner, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud, U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans said in a news release Tuesday. For each count, Jones faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan set sentencing for Feb. 24, 2022.
According to court documents, beginning in 2015, Jones flew on several airlines using false identities. When he arrived at the destination airport, Jones then falsely claimed that his baggage was lost and requested reimbursement to compensate him for his loss.
Through the scheme, Jones submitted more than 180 false claims for lost luggage, requesting over $550,000 in reimbursement, Evans' office said. In total, the airlines paid over $300,000 in fraudulent claims, authorities said.
On April 7, 2018, Jones was arrested at Dallas Love Airport while trying to go through screening with 36 fake driver's licenses and 47 credit cards under fictitious names, the news release said.
He was arrested again in March 2020 while trying to pick up a reimbursement check at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Law enforcement later searched his home and found 34 fraudulent driver's licenses, 21 fake work ID cards and a number of fraudulent airline employee badges with his photograph, prosecutors said.