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Man Charged With Stealing 42 million DL SkyMiles

Man Charged With Stealing 42 million DL SkyMiles

Old Sep 13, 19, 4:15 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
redemptions for US48/Alaska/Canada RTs are 90K for coach, 175k for C+, and 250K for F (excluding TCONs which are 280K for F/D1); redemptions for Hawaii are 170K for coach, 350K for C+, and 435K for F/D1
A one year individual Sky Club membership is 160K points. If you use that as a proxy, 42 million points would be worth roughly $143K. TATL D1 certs are 575K points. If you valued them at roughly $5K each, they would be worth $365K.
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Last edited by xliioper; Sep 13, 19 at 4:27 pm
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Old Sep 13, 19, 4:28 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by Centurion View Post
Another disturbing factor that everyone seems to gloss over is miles are not considered taxable benefit or income yet now Delta wants to magically make the miles worth money.
Earned miles are not taxable because itís effectively a discount. You spend $500 on a ticket, you get a discount of 2,500 - 5,500 miles on that ticket. Maybe there are edge cases where miles could be considered taxable, but normally theyíre clearly not income.

Regardless of whether miles are taxable, Delta clearly had damages. The guy fraudulently mislead Delta, breaking the SkyBonus program terms, in order to get something of value (even if it was a discount) he wasnít entitled to.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 5:37 pm
  #18  
 
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Hereís the U.S. justice Department info on this case

Itíd be interesting to get more details of how this was charged.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga/pr...eltas-skybonus
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Old Sep 13, 19, 6:08 pm
  #19  
 
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I have no issue of this travel agent getting what he deserves but this is clearly not a criminal case but should be a civil lawsuit and shows how big corporations like Delta can buy law enforcement that are paid by us citizens to protect the people. The FBI should be working on protecting citizens and not doing what should be civil litigation. Delta should be sue this travel agent in civil court and take his assets and recover damages including punitive damages.

Originally Posted by rucksack View Post
Earned miles are not taxable because itís effectively a discount. You spend $500 on a ticket, you get a discount of 2,500 - 5,500 miles on that ticket. Maybe there are edge cases where miles could be considered taxable, but normally theyíre clearly not income.

Regardless of whether miles are taxable, Delta clearly had damages. The guy fraudulently mislead Delta, breaking the SkyBonus program terms, in order to get something of value (even if it was a discount) he wasnít entitled to.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 6:21 pm
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by bpe View Post
The news articles all say $1.75 million worth of miles, but according to one of them, the actual indictment says "causing a loss to Delta of over $1.75 million dollars". I feel like this number is plausible and that Delta's lawyers would be smart enough to not put an exact dollar value on miles.
REDEEM SKYBONUS POINTS FOR REWARDS

According to that redemption chart, 1,000,000 points gets you one SkyBonus Certificate - South Pacific - Delta One/First Class..... so $1.75 million / 42 ==> $41,667 per certificate.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 6:40 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post

The airline claims the miles are worth $1.75 million, which is beyond ludicrous. The man committed fraud and theft, but we all know the real value is closer to $500k.
I mean I would say more like $5k but.....
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Old Sep 13, 19, 6:55 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by Centurion View Post
I have no issue of this travel agent getting what he deserves but this is clearly not a criminal case but should be a civil lawsuit and shows how big corporations like Delta can buy law enforcement that are paid by us citizens to protect the people. The FBI should be working on protecting citizens and not doing what should be civil litigation. Delta should be sue this travel agent in civil court and take his assets and recover damages including punitive damages.
Itís a civil case and a criminal case. Wire fraud is a crime.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 6:59 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
For those who use SkyBonus, is it obvious that a plane ticket, itinerary, or boarding pass has a SkyBonus number attached?
It is not obvious that a ticket has a SkyBonus number attached. Does not show up on a paper boarding pass, email receipt, anywhere in app etc. I actually spend a good amount of time retroactively adding ticket numbers of flown flights into the SkyBonus website because tickets booked via app or phone donít automatically enter SkyBonus numbers.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 7:01 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by ajggiant View Post
It is not obvious that a ticket has a SkyBonus number attached. Does not show up on a paper boarding pass, email receipt, anywhere in app etc. I actually spend a good amount of time retroactively adding ticket numbers of flown flights into the SkyBonus website because tickets booked via app or phone donít automatically enter SkyBonus numbers.
So the travel agent's customers wouldn't have had any way of knowing unless they were issued a SkyBonus award ticket when they thought that a regular ticket had been purchased.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 7:09 pm
  #25  
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Don't worry. I am sure that during sentencing, the "true" value of SkyPeso will be fully briefed. (Note - sentencing guidance takes the value into consideration. So the lesser the value involved, the lesser the sentence.)

Also - those people from DOJ are really stupid. Seriously - I doubt there is no federal employee in DOJ Atlanta Office having a SkyPeso account. And believing DL for that kind of value? I think the case needs to be transfer (Again - who in Atlanta does not have a SkyPeso account? Even Jimmy Carter may have one...)
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Old Sep 13, 19, 7:10 pm
  #26  
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The travel agent in question is located in Chicago, so wouldn't any trial be held there? BTW apparently he/she is a managing director (who also functions as a luxury travel agent) of the travel agency, but not the owner. (It's supposedly a closely held private company.)
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Old Sep 13, 19, 7:54 pm
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
So the travel agent's customers wouldn't have had any way of knowing unless they were issued a SkyBonus award ticket when they thought that a regular ticket had been purchased.
Yes, I think it would difficult to tell if a revenue ticket (once purchased) had a SkyBonus number attached. Iíll have to do a test on desktop to see if I can find it, but the way I typically check to see if I have entered into a ticket is by going to the accruals page of SkyBonus which shows future tickets that have yet to be flown. Obviously that isnít an option for these customers.

In terms of valuation, I wish SB points were worth 4 cents. But theyíre definitely less valuable than SM. The SkyBonus award tickets/certificates are restrictive in terms of fare class availability required to apply. For instance, US-Australia is 1,000,000 for a Z fare and 1,400,000 for I. These are round tips. For the one way domestic upgrade certificates, inventory is same as RUC inventory, and is 25,000 for YBM fares or 50,000 fares down to K.

There were some questions about earning:

SB earn based on $ spent with a multiplier ranging from 1-30x. 30, 6, 3 for travel between non-hubs or competitive hubs, 10, 3, 1 for travel to/from captured hubs. The multiplier buckets are 30x is for first, business, true premium economy; 6x for comfort and higher fare economy; 3x for discount economy. For businesses that regularly purchase business fares, you can hit that 30x sweet spot.

SkyBonus still calcs based on spend on KL, AF, AZ, AM and VS marketed flights so long as they originate in US, so thereís some channel to get spend on those tickets. Non US origin or other marketed ST partners donít earn.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 8:05 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by rucksack View Post
Itís a civil case and a criminal case. Wire fraud is a crime.
Also if anything was sent via USPS mail, there's charges for doing that. (Ie a certificate for Skyclub access sent via mail)
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Old Sep 13, 19, 8:06 pm
  #29  
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Certainly not right in regards to the fraud he committed but I have zero sympathy for Delta and their corrupt skymiles program.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 8:10 pm
  #30  
 
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Thinking more about that 4 cent valuation, that would mean every $1 spent on top 30x tier would earn $1.20 in rewards. I could fly La Premiere JFK-CDG for free effectively and earn a 20% bonus! That would be a hell of a mileage run.
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