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Delta Airlines Employee Charged with Impersonating a Federal Air Marshal

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Delta Airlines Employee Charged with Impersonating a Federal Air Marshal

U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts
March 1, 2011

BOSTON—A Chelsea man was arrested today and charged in U.S. District Court for allegedly impersonating a federal air marshal.

ABDIRAHMAN Y. HASSAN, 31, was arrested and charged with falsely impersonating a federal air marshal during the course of an investigation into a motor vehicle accident. According to the complaint, HASSAN is employed by Delta Airlines as a “ramp worker” and has been so employed for approximately 10 years and has never been employed as a U.S. Air Marshal.

According to the criminal complaint, on or about Dec. 30, 2010, HASSAN was involved in a motor vehicle accident in his personal vehicle, and soon thereafter an appraisal was obtained of the damage by an insurance adjuster. On or about Jan. 26, HASSAN’s vehicle was brought to Eagle Hill Auto Body, where it was determined that supplemental damage was present on HASSAN’s vehicle that had not been present back on or about Jan. 7, when the insurance adjuster originally took photographs of the vehicle.

Due to the inconsistency in HASSAN’s claim, the employee of the Eagle Hill Auto Body called HASSAN, while in the presence of the insurance adjuster, and asked HASSAN about the additional damage. It is alleged that the insurance adjuster overheard HASSAN answering, "I would never do that, I'm a U.S. marshal," to the inquiries from the auto body employee.

On Feb. 4, HASSAN was interviewed at his home by an insurance investigator regarding the accident and a pending investigation into potential motor vehicle insurance fraud. HASSAN allegedly answered the door and greeted the investigator while wearing a pistol holstered on his hip. The investigator, who is familiar with firearms, described the weapon as a black holstered pistol that resembled a Glock. It is alleged that HASSAN welcomed the investigator into his residence and stated, “I'm a U.S. air marshal and I have to catch a flight at noon today because I'm going to Detroit.”

According to the complaint, per company policy, the investigator asked HASSAN for his consent to audio record this interview to which HASSAN acknowledged and agreed. It is alleged that during this recorded interview, HASSAN again stated that he was a U.S. air marshal and said that he has been so employed for nine years. HASSAN estimated his monthly salary as $4,500 per month. When asked by the investigator if he is the type of marshal who flies on airplanes, HASSAN answered “yes.”

According to the complaint, the investigator recalled that in a separate, earlier 2010 insurance investigation relating to HASSAN, HASSAN reported to be employed as a Delta flight engineer for the past eight years. The investigator then asked HASSAN how he could have been a U.S air marshal for the past nine years, when he had previously reported being a flight engineer. HASSAN allegedly stated that he has been a U.S. air marshal since 2009 and was promoted by Delta to the status of air marshal, and also mentioned he was a U.S. Marine. It is further alleged that, following the interview, the investigator was contacted by HASSAN numerous times via telephone, wherein HASSAN inquired about the status of his car claim stating, “I need to move this along, I’m very busy flying all over the country as a U.S. air marshal, I need my car.”

If convicted, HASSAN faces up to three years' imprisonment to be followed by one year of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Division, and George N. Naccara, Federal Security Director, Boston, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Sullivan of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.

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