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Document and Benefit Fraud
09/08/2011

Airline employee pleads guilty to federal fraud charges

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A resident of North Carolina pleaded guilty in Buffalo to conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with identification documents. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Tinisha Tucker Anthony, 28, of Charlotte, N.C., arranged for a birth certificate card to be issued by the City of Buffalo which contained the fingerprints and photograph of Derek Frank, and the name of her stepson. In addition, Anthony used her position as a customer service representative for U.S. Airways at the Raleigh-Durham Airport to arrange for Frank to fly between Buffalo and Phoenix, using the birth certificate card in the name of a her stepson.

This marks the third conviction of an individual involved in this criminal conspiracy. On Aug. 26, 2011, Minetta Walker, a former behavior detection officer with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States. In addition, Regina McCullen, a former City of Buffalo employee, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with identification documents.

The plea is the result of an investigation by ICE HSI, FBI, TSA, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police.

Sentencing for Anthony is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten is prosecuting this case.