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: A stolen credit card helped a scammer book a pair of roundtrip tickets to California from a Teterboro flight broker who supplies private jets for celebrities and executives, authorities said today.
Thanks to a tip from the U.S. Secret Service, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said, his investigators filed charges today against 23-year-old Ralph D. Taylor, who’s being held in a Manhattan lockup on an unrelated charge.
The victim came to Molinelli’s office in July to report that he’d been ripped off to the tune of $33,000, the prosecutor said.
The broker said the tickets to Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles were secured over the phone a year ago by a man who identified himself as Johnathan Stemler of Hoboken, Molinelli said.
“Stemler” then booked the flight for himself and another man online using the stolen American Express card, the prosecutor said.
The next morning, Taylor and a man named Wagens Jerome showed up at Teterboro Airport. They “showed the pilot appropriate identification and boarded the flight,” Molinelli said.
“When the victim attempted to get return trip authorization from American Express, he was informed that the credit card number he had given them was reported stolen” out of Cherry Hill, the prosecutor said.
Jerome and Taylor — who apparently had used the same alias before — didn’t make the trip back, he said.
Thanks to a tip from a Secret Service agent, investigators tracked down Taylor, of Newark, and charged him with theft.
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