Two men have been accused of getting more than $220,000 worth of luxury charter flights, limousines, hotel stays and luxury goods including watches from a Tiffany jewelry store by pretending to be senior executives at a “well-known financial institution,” authorities said.
Dante G. Dixon, 45, of Miami, Florida, and Christopher L. Henderson, 32, of Akron, Ohio, have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to a statement issued by the FBI.
They were arrested Monday in Akron, Ohio, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Burke ordered that they should be held until they could be transported to New Jersey.
They are accused of conspiring with others to fraudulently obtain at least four private charter flights from Jet Aviation, based in Teterboro, New Jersey, the FBI statement said.
The complaint says that a man using the name Josh Stevens had called Jet Aviation’s offices in Chicago, Illinois, and Van Nuys, California, in May this year to ask about its private charter flight services.
He claimed to be a senior vice president at the financial company, which the statement did not name. Dixon was identified as a vice president and Henderson as a vice president of international affairs in a draft charter agreement.
“On May 21, 2013, based on the false information provided by Josh Stevens, a Jet Aviation employee created an account and a $350,000 line of credit for the defendants and others,” the FBI statement said.
“Dixon and Henderson and others used the sham line of credit to take at least four private charter flights,” it added.
“As a result of their misrepresentations to Jet Aviation, Dixon and Henderson and others fraudulently obtained private high-end charter flights and limousine car services with a total value of $175,790. Jet Aviation never received payment from the defendants and others, or from the financial institution’s line of credit, for any of the services provided to the defendants and others.”
The FBI said Dixon and Henderson and others “made similar misrepresentations” about working for the financial company to other luxury service providers, including to a Tiffany & Co. store in Bal Harbour, Florida, and The W South Beach Hotel in Miami, Florida.
“These misrepresentations resulted in the defendants and others fraudulently obtaining, via sham lines of credit with Tiffany and The W, approximately $19,991 in watches, sunglasses, sterling silver and leather business card holders, and men’s cologne from Tiffany, and approximately $25,466 in overnight hotel stays at The W,” the FBI statement said.
The alleged fraud was discovered after a Jet Aviation employee at Teterboro met Dixon and Henderson before they boarded their charter flight to Miami, Florida, on June 7.
“During the meeting, the defendants identified themselves as being employees at the financial institution. The Jet Aviation employee then contacted the financial institution and was informed that Dixon and Henderson and others were not, and had never been employees at the financial institution,” the FBI statement said.
It added that the maximum potential penalty for conspiracy to commit wire fraud was 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss resulting from the alleged offence.
First published August 6 2013, 3:44 AM