Fugitive guilty of nearly $10M in bogus travel purchases
PITTSBURGH (AP) – A man who escaped to Mexico to avoid sentencing in a 1996 credit card case in New York has pleaded guilty before a federal judge in Pittsburgh of making nearly $10 million in fraudulent credit card purchases, most of them international airline tickets, while on the lam.
Forty-eight-year-old Nicolas Frank Sucich likely faces more than four years in federal prison under a plea agreement struck Tuesday to charges of wire and access device fraud. He’ll return for sentencing Jan. 5.
Federal prosecutors say Sucich set up a business called FCO Travels in Mexico. Using that business, he used a fraudulent Scotiabank MasterCard account to buy millions of dollars’ worth of airline tickets from a legitimate Pittsburgh-area travel agency, then re-sold the tickets for cash at discounted rates to travelers, among other schemes.