Mass. man convicted of scamming airlines out of thousands by submitting bogus lost baggage claims

A 28-year-old Marlborough man has pleaded guilty to scamming airlines out of thousands of dollars by making false claims that they lost his baggage, federal prosecutors said.

Pedro Igor Duarte was convicted on Friday of three counts of mail fraud, the US attorney’s office in Boston said in a statement.

From October 2007 through April 2009, Duarte bought tickets and flew on airlines, including Continental Airlines, American Airlines, and AirTran Airways (now a part of Southwest Airlines) so he could submit claims for lost baggage when he had not, in fact, lost any baggage on those flights, the prosecutors said.

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As part of his plea agreement, Duarte agreed to pay the airlines $28,210 in restitution. He faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is slated for Dec. 6.