Two face prison in airline ticket scam
For ex-Southwest employee Althea Jackson and her husband, James Jackson, a former bailiff at the Bexar County Courthouse, the tickets will take them to prison for at least two years.
Months after a judge all but killed a federal prosecution in the case, the Jacksons on Tuesday pleaded guilty to wire fraud for stealing, selling and distributing more than 5,600 of Southwest's "Non-Revenue Must Ride" ticket vouchers, which are normally free.
The Jacksons will face between 24 and 30 months in prison in exchange for their pleas to the federal felony. They'll be sentenced in May.
Jackson sold them for $100 to $200 — substantially less than the market price, federal officials allege. The vouchers also gave the bearer the privilege of getting on any flight, anytime there was an open seat.
Some vouchers were sold or distributed by the Jacksons' friends, who created their own informal networks, according to court paperwork and other documents.
Restitution is still undetermined. Figures tossed around as losses to the airline are $1.8 million to $3 million, but the Jacksons' lawyer, Jay Norton, questioned that.