• Man Who Lived Out Fantasy of Screwing Over a Major Airline Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

    By | February 25, 2015

    Paul Anderson, a former Delta Airlines employee, defrauded Northwest and Delta Airlines out of $36 million. In a just world, we would proclaim him a hero who sees the injustice of horrendous business practices and does right by all of us who have been fucked over by an airline.

    Alas, we live in nation of laws that are designed to protect those who need protecting — corporations — and Mr. Anderson's efforts were not appreciated by Northwest/Delta or law enforcement:

    Paul Anderson has been sentenced to six years and eight months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud Northwest and Delta Air Lines of more than $36 million. Anderson and his co-defendant Michael Yedor submitted false invoices to both airlines, for work that was not performed but was billed for by a company allegedly owned by Yedor.
     
    “The defendant’s lucrative and long-running scheme came crashing down when Delta uncovered his deception and informed law enforcement,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn. “For more than a decade, Anderson used his position of trust within these airline companies to steal millions of dollars from the airlines for himself and a codefendant.”
    Mr. Anderson — read it in the voice of Agent Smith — "had the authority to approve [the invoices] for payment" and then received a portion of the proceeds from Mr. Yedor. They pulled this off from 1999 to 2013; an impressive feat given the simplicity of the scam.
     
    I'm can't help but feel immense conflict about this. Stealing is bad. But airlines are the worst.  

    [FBI

    • Management Assertion

      A fraud by collusion, and the justification/rationalization comes from the auditor? Shame on you Caleb.

      • ItsGoodToBeTheKing

        It’s not really collusion. Anderson could have just as easily created a fake company by himself, submitted bills and then approved payments himself. It looks like the issue is that he either had the ability to create a vendor and approve the payment or change vendor info and approve payments. A segregation of duties issue either way but not necessarily collusion.

        • Management Assertion

          “Once Anderson approved the invoices, falsely indicating that the goods
          or services had been received, the airlines issued payments to Airborne
          Voice and Data. In exchange for approving each of the invoices, Anderson
          received a portion of the proceeds of the fraud. The defendants
          acknowledged that they received more than $36 million from the airlines
          during the scheme.”

          So Anderson was not in accounting but in “receiving” management. Where was purchasing to issue and authorize the purchase order?

          • ItsGoodToBeTheKing

            Sounds like we need to do a walkthrough.

        • Bloviator

          Anderson didn’t create or change vendor info or approve payments. He didn’t work in the accounting or purchasing departments. He was a line manager who approved invoices for stuff his department supposedly bought. He had authority to fill out a purchase req and a new vendor form and send them to purchasing to be entered. After a PO was created, his buddy Darth Yedor sent him an invoice, which he forwarded to accounts payable with a note saying “okay to pay.” Auditors rarely look at controls outside the accounting department. So this kind of thing can (and did) go on for years.

    • Ed Flanders

      Airlines aren’t THAT bad. But put me on a jury for someone accused of stealing from Comcast and I’ll vote to acquit no matter what.

      • Management Assertion

        It all depends on how much of the stolen money they give me. Money talks, bullshit walks. (Or in this case goes to jail.)

    • Big4Veteran

      “Alas, we live in nation of laws that are designed to protect those who need protecting — corporations…”

      Truth.

      “Paul Anderson has been sentenced to six years and eight months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud Northwest and Delta Air Lines of more than $36 million.”

      How many years did the Enron guys get?

      • MWCPA

        How many more should we be pushing for due to their role in the creation of SOX?

      • Jack

        Jeff Skilling 24 years, reduced to 14. Ken Lay died before they could throw his sorry ass in jail.

        • FormerBig4

          False!!!! Ken Lay faked his death and is alive and well. Don’t you read the internet?

    • Bloviator

      An EY audit. So much for tests of controls.