Man pleads guilty in alleged plot to scam airline

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Associated Press

Posted on August 29, 2013 at 4:30 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Illinois man has pleaded guilty to tax evasion in an alleged scheme that defrauded an airline company of $1 million.

Forty-one-year-old Alan Messner of Rolling Meadows, Ill., entered the plea Thursday federal court in Washington. He faces a maximum of five years in prison at sentencing Dec. 13 and agreed to pay the U.S. more than $62,000 in taxes for failing to report more than $280,000 in income.

According to his plea agreement, Messner and another man persuaded an Indonesian airline company to pay them a $1 million security deposit to lease two aircraft. Prosecutors say the two men did not own any such aircraft.

Sixty-four-year-old Jon Cooper of Washington has been indicted on wire fraud and money laundering charges in the case. His trial is set for January.

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