Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced the arrest of four JetBlue employees and a New York City Department of Corrections Officer for the unauthorized use of credit cards from JetBlue customers.
The investigation revealed that on June 7, 2006 at 4:50pm, a law student, traveling from New York to Boston, used a debit card to purchase a standby ticket from ALEX YEGORYAN, a JetBlue Customer Service Agent, at the JetBlue terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport (“JFK”). The victim paid the $25 change fee, rushed to make his flight, and inadvertently left his debit card at the customer service counter. YEGORYAN stole the victim’s card. On June 7, 2006, YEGORYAN, along with two co-defendants, GEORGIA MALAMIS and RICQUEVIL (“Ricky”) SANTANA, also JetBlue Customer Service Agents, used the victim’s debit card to make five unauthorized charges (gas, diner food, alcohol, drug store goods, and American Express gift card) totaling $508.32 at various locations in Manhattan and Queens. The victim notified the bank and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office regarding his lost card; the DA’s office contacted the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Inspector General and the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
The investigation further revealed that from December 2005 until April 2007, YEGORYAN, MALAMIS, and SANTANA allegedly used other credit and debit cards that belonged to JetBlue customers. The defendants not only used the cards to make fraudulent purchases for themselves; but they also gave cards to MONIQUE ROBLES, a JetBlue flight attendant, and JACQUELINE MIRANDA, a New York City Department of Corrections Officer. The five defendants used the stolen cards at a variety of different locations (Bloomingdale’s, Target, Victoria’s Secret, Express, H&M, Champs Sports, restaurants, liquor stores, grocery stores, gas stations, etc.) all over Manhattan and Queens. The defendants allegedly charged between $300 to $500 per card during each of their shopping sprees.
YEGORYAN has been a JetBlue Customer Service Agent for two-and-a-half years, MALAMIS has been an agent for four years, and SANTANA has been an agent for three years. ROBLES has been a JetBlue flight attendant for three years and MIRANDA has been a NYC Corrections Officer for two years. The investigation is continuing. The defendants also face charges in Queens.
Mr. Morgenthau said, “Airports can often be stressful places. These defendants took advantage of that stress when customers, focused on their travel plans, inadvertently left their credit cards with JetBlue employees, ironically working as “customer service” agents. Instead of providing assistance, these agents ripped-off passengers. In view of the proliferation of identity theft schemes we are seeing, people need to be vigilant in protecting their credit and debit cards, as well as other identifying information.”
Robert E. Van Etten, Inspector General, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said, “I want to thank DA Morgenthau for first bringing this matter to our attention and requesting the Port Authority’s assistance in investigating this unfortunate situation. This case shows that identity theft continues to be a large and serious problem. It affects people in every aspect of their lives, including their use of the airports for either vacations or business purposes. Here we have four JetBlue employees whose jobs it was to assist passengers at the airport and on board during flight. Instead, they took a number of passengers for a different type of ride. We also had the involvement of a NYC Correction Officer, who violated her oath of office as a law enforcement officer, to join in on the spoils with the others. We urge everyone to be vigilant in safeguarding his or her identity documents and credit cards. Thank you to Queens DA Brown and his staff for their superb guidance during this investigation, and to the Port Authority Police and its Criminal Investigation Bureau for their assistance.”
ALEXANDER YEGORYAN and GEORGIA MALAMIS are awaiting arraignment on charges of Identity Theft in the First Degree and Identity Theft in the Second Degree. RICQUEVIL (“Ricky”) SANTANA is awaiting arraignment on charges of Identity Theft in the Second Degree. MONIQUE ROBLES is awaiting arraignment on charges of two counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree, Forgery in the Second Degree, and Identity Theft in the Second Degree. JACQUELINE MIRANDA is awaiting arraignment on charges of Identity Theft in the First Degree and Identity Theft in the Second Degree. Identity Theft in the First Degree and Forgery in the Second Degree are class D felonies, which are punishable by up to seven years in prison. Identity Theft in the Second Degree is a class E felony, which is punishable by up to four years in prison.
Assistant District Attorney Joel Meyers is in charge of the prosecution under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michael Scotto, Chief of the Labor Racketeering Unit-Construction Industry Strike Force. Mr. Morgenthau would like to thank Inspector General Robert E. Van Etten, Deputy Inspector General Michael Nestor, Investigator Arthur Maisano, and Detective Steve Poulos of the Office of the Inspector General of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for their cooperation and assistance in the investigation. Mr. Morgenthau would also like to thank the New York City Department of Corrections Inspector General’s Office, Superintendent of Police Samuel Plumeri, Jr., Detective Frank Jillings, and Detective John Riley, Port Authority Police Department. Mr. Morgenthau would also like to thank American Express Corporation, Discover Card Services, and Commerce Bank.