- US federal authorities have accused a man of fraudulently earning 42 million Delta frequent-flyer miles.
- Prosecutors say the man took advantage of a program that’s supposed to reward businesses for employee travel.
- The airline said the miles were worth $US1.75 million.
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A man was indicted by federal prosecutors this week, accused of earning more than 42 million Delta frequent-flyer miles by committing fraud.
Prosecutors said on Thursday that Gennady Podolsky, a managing partner of a Chicago travel agency, Vega International Travel Services, earned the miles through Delta’s SkyBonus program, which lets businesses earn frequent-flyer points when their employees travel.
The indictment said Podolsky created a SkyBonus account for a fertility centre owned by a relative of Vega’s president. When Podolsky’s customers flew Delta and booked through Vega Travel, he would enter the fertility centre’s SkyBonus information, even though the travellers were not employees of the fertility centre and didn’t have any connection to it, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said that this way Podolsky earned and redeemed more than 42 million SkyBonus points, which the airline valued at $US1.75 million.
Podolsky, a dual Ukrainian and American citizen, has been relatively prolific in his role as a travel agent and adviser. In a 2016 profile in Wired, Podolsky said he preferred to think of himself as a “creative director.”
Podolsky could not be reached for comment on Friday, and Delta did not immediately return a request for comment.
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