A man was indicted this week after federal prosecutors said he earned more than 42 million Delta flyers miles by committing scams.
Gennady Podolsky is the managing partner of a Chicago-based travel agency, Vega International Travel Services. According to prosecutors, he earned the miles through Delta's SkyBonus program, which allows businesses to earn frequent flyer "SkyMiles" as employees travel.
According to the indictment, Podolsky created a SkyBonus account for a fertility center owned by a relative of Vegas president. When Podolsky's customers flew Delta, booked through Vega Travel, he wanted to enter the fertility center's SkyBonus information, even though the travelers were not employees of the fertility center and had no connection to it.
Prosecutors say Podolsky earned and redeemed more than 42 million SkyMiles in this way, which the airline valued at $ 1
Podolsky, a dual Ukrainian and American citizen, has been relatively fruitful in his role as travel agent and adviser. In a 2016 profile in Wired, Podolsky said he preferred to think of himself as a "creative leader."
Podolsky could not be reached for comment on Friday, and Delta did not immediately return a request for comment.