Traveler denies accusations against him, claiming he was only “bargain shopping.”
A South Florida flyer stands accused of stealing and redeeming over $260,000 worth of American Airlines AAdvantage Miles, but claims he was not to blame over the entire situation. In an interview with the Miami Herald, Milad Avazdavani claims he only took trips, rather than hacking into accounts and stealing miles from flyers.
According to an affidavit acquired by ABC News, Avazdavani was arrested in March 2015 for the theft of the frequent flyer miles, which took place between December 2014 and February 2015. In January 2015, both American and United Airlines confirmed cyber criminals stole miles from several frequent flyer accounts.
Prosecutors creating the case against the flyer claim he used the alias “Milad Avaz” to book multiple trips with the stolen miles, including those from Miami to Dubai. While some of the trips were canceled by American on suspicions of fraud, police claim Avazdavani was able to secure at least five rental cars with the stolen points and miles. When he was arrested, a police report obtained by the Miami Herald alleges he was in possession of multiple credit cards in other people’s names.
However, Avazdavani claims he never stole the miles and is only guilty of “bargain shopping” online. The flyer points the finger at other unnamed parties who may have supposedly helped him book his trips online. While Avazdavani agreed to the newspaper that he did rent cars, he claims those are a “civil” issue, instead of a criminal issue.
“You become a victim when you socialize with the wrong crowd,” Avazdavani told the Miami Herald in an interview. “It was a third party, that’s all I can say.”
Avazdavani is scheduled to go to trial for his alleged crimes in the summer of 2016. Although he is being held in custody, Avazdavani has not been convicted of the charges against him and remains innocent until proven guilty.
[Photo: David Ovalle/Miami Herald]