Fraudster Impersonating American Airlines Funneled Scam Cash into Crypto, Lawsuit Claims

Crime, News | March 22, 2024 By:

On Friday, March 8, 2024, American Airlines, Inc. filed a fourth amended complaint in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Anthony Spada II accusing him of fraud and intellectual property infringement.

The airline giant alleged that Spada was running a scam operation where he impersonated major companies like American Airlines online to defraud job seekers. According to the court documents, Spada would purchase advertisements on platforms like Facebook and Craigslist, posing as real companies hiring for jobs. Unsuspecting job seekers who clicked on these ads would be directed to forms to submit their personal information.

Spada would then follow up with the applicants via phone and email, pretending to be a recruitment director and offering them positions. He allegedly claimed they needed to submit more details and pay a fee of around $100 for background checks. However, the jobs and background checks were just a ruse, and victims would realize they were scammed after paying the fees.

American Airlines asserted that Spada created or directed thousands of PayPal accounts listing fake company names and addresses to collect funds from victims. He is accused of using sophisticated methods like virtual private networks and cryptocurrencies to launder the money and evade detection by PayPal. The lawsuit stated that Spada maintained a network of bank accounts, prepaid debit cards, and “crowdfunding” campaigns to transfer illicit funds out of PayPal.

The complaint stated that he possessed cryptocurrency hardware wallets and multiple digital currency addresses, which were allegedly used to move money around anonymously. Spada is also accused of sharing profits from the scam operation with accomplices by transferring them money, which they may have further laundered into cryptocurrencies.

If convicted, Spada could face stiff penalties under cybercrime, intellectual property, and money laundering laws. The lawsuit filed by American Airlines seeks to stop Spada’s fraudulent activities and compensate for the harm caused to its brand reputation and job recruitment efforts. It demonstrates the extensive use of cryptocurrencies and digital methods by scammers today to facilitate financial crimes on a global scale with limited paper trails.

Please contact BlockTribune for access to a copy of this filing.