For more than two years, managers of a small company that operated an exclusive lounge for airline passengers siphoned millions of dollars intended for Miami-Dade’s Aviation Department through “shadow” bank accounts, law enforcement leaders said Thursday.
Their suspected haul: likely well over $2.19 million.
…The way the scam worked, according to prosecutors, was relatively simple: Airlines supply privileged passengers with vouchers to use at Club America. Passengers then would turn in those vouchers at the club entrance to IAMI, which would bill the airlines.
The airlines paid with company checks made out to IAMI, which was supposed to deposit those checks directly into an account belonging to Miami-Dade Aviation. But investigators found that for at least the past two years, the three were depositing about 20 percent of the total revenues received from airlines into personal accounts.
The investigation also found that the allegedly stolen money came from 11 airline carriers, including $1.1 million from Swiss International Airlines, $347,000 from Taca International Airlines and $279,000 from Virgin Atlantic Airlines.