The managing partner of a small, Chicago-based travel agency was arrested and charged with 12 counts of wire fraud after allegedly scamming Delta Air Lines out of nearly $2 million worth of frequent flyer miles.
Prosecutors say that 43-year-old Gennady Podolsky would book air travel for his agency's customers through a fertility clinic owned by one of his relatives, taking advantage of Delta's corporate program in which companies earn rewards when their employees travel.
"Through his access, he allegedly took advantage of Delta Airlines corporate frequent flyer program, illegally reaping millions of SkyBonus points worth more than $1.75 million," Chris Hacker, FBI special agent in charge of the Atlanta office, said in a statement.
Most of Podolsky's clients were flying on international flights, allowing him to earn a large number of frequent flyer miles in a short period of time. He managed to earn roughly 48 million points between March 2014 and April 2015, which he redeemed on free flights for himself.
"The fraudulent accumulation of frequent flyer miles in the travel industry may seem like a victimless crime, however, large corporations stand to lose significant profits," Hacker said.
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