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For Immediate Release
August 24, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

OWNER OF MULTIPLE TRAVEL AGENCIES SENTENCED TO 6 MONTHS IN JAIL FOR STEALING OVER $100,000 FROM AIRLINES

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the sentencing of Emad Emile Dides, of 1396 Gregg Drive, Lusby, Maryland in the Circuit Court for St. Mary’s County. The 44 year old Dides was previously found guilty on one count of felony theft in connection with his ownership and operation of multiple travel agencies doing business as One World Travel, Inc., formerly located at 22741 Three Notch Road, in the Hickory Hill Shopping Center in California, Maryland. At the time of the theft, Dides was controlling five travel agencies that would all route ticket information through that main office in St. Mary’s County.

At the guilty plea hearing, the State outlined how Dides stole money from 13 major airlines, both foreign and domestic, by stealing inflated commissions and taking money for ticket sales that were not reported to the airlines. As for the inflated commissions, Dides would take 100% percent commissions on tickets, and get the tickets refunded almost immediately, and keep the commissions. The airlines issued debit memos requesting the ill-gotten commissions for tickets that no longer existed, to which Dides would never reply. The second theft scheme, unreported sales, was perpetrated by Dides taking money from passengers and pocketing it for his own use. He would provide legitimate tickets for passengers but never report the travel to the airlines. The airlines would become aware of the ticket after the flight, in which case they would ask for the money taken by Dides, but he never would give the stolen money back to the airline. In total, Dides pled guilty to stealing just over $100,000 pursuant to the theft schemes. Some of the individual airlines, such as Japan Airlines, Turkish Airways and Delta Airlines lost well over $10,000 individually.

On Friday August 20th, the Honorable Karen H. Abrams sentenced Dides to 3 years suspend all but 6 months, incarceration, to be followed by 3 years supervised probation. Dides is set to report to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center today to begin his sentence. The case was investigated by the Airline Reporting Corporation along with the Maryland State Police and was prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Investigations Division.

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