An accomplice of a Twin Cities supervisor for Northwest Airlines and its successor, Delta, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for concocting a scheme that cheated the companies out of more than $36 million.
Michael Yedor, 62, of Los Angeles, was sentenced in federal court Friday in Atlanta in a plot that U.S. Attorney Sally Q. Yates said was "astounding" in "scope and magnitude."
"The millions of dollars the defendants stole hurt the honest operations of an important company and its many customers, as well as other honest vendors who play by the rules," Yates said.
Yedor's partner in crime, Paul A. Anderson, 58, of, Apple Valley, is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 23, also in Atlanta. Anderson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud on Sept. 15.
Yedor, who also pleaded guilty, was apprehended while on his 72-foot yacht in San Diego on June 21.
Attached to the indictment of the two was a list of transactions that read like a Who's Who of posh Beverly Hills retailers. One was for $37,000 at Cartier, another for $43,000 at Chanel. Other stores where the ill-gotten gains were spent included Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Saks and Hermès. The document did not specify which defendant shopped at these stores.
According to prosecutors:
Anderson, who signed on with Eagan-based Northwest in 1979, oversaw installation, maintenance and upgrading of radio communications for the airlines' control and crisis centers starting in 1986. He continued with Delta after the two airlines merged in 2009.
Anderson began his scheme with Yedor in 2004 by submitting numerous false invoices on behalf of Airborne Voice and Data, purportedly owned by Yedor. The invoices sought payment from the airlines for goods and services from Airborne that never were provided. Payments were for as little as $11,000 but topped $200,000 at least seven times.
In exchange for approving each invoice, Anderson received a kickback in the scheme that didn't come to an end until last year.
Yedor's sentence includes three years of supervised release after he leaves prison. He also must pay restitution of more than $36 million, in addition to a personal money judgment of more than $36 million, and forfeiture of his interest in an array of real properties and luxury goods, including a Beverly Hills mansion and the yacht.