NATIONAL NEWS

Former Southwest Airlines customer-service agent is charged with fraud in voucher-selling scheme

Jun 6, 2023, 1:12 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — A former Southwest Airlines customer-service agent has been indicted and charged with fraud for allegedly making and selling travel vouchers worth nearly $1.9 million.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that DaJuan Martin was working at Chicago’s Midway Airport when he filled out the vouchers with phony names, then sold them to others including a co-defendant, Ned Brooks, at less than face value.

In an indictment handed down Monday, Martin, 36, of Bolingbrook, Illinois, was charged with 12 counts of wire fraud. Brooks, 46, of Chicago, was charged with four counts of wire fraud. Each count is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Martin worked for Southwest between November 2018 and June 2022. As a customer-service agent, he had authority to issue the vouchers to customers who experienced service problems. Brooks and others would send Martin text messages when they wanted vouchers, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of nearly $1.9 million from Martin, $732,000 from Brooks, nearly $27,000 in cash and a 2021 Land Rover.

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Former Southwest Airlines customer-service agent is charged with fraud in voucher-selling scheme