A former United Airlines flight attendant from Dallas has been
sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for calling in eight phony bomb
threats against the carrier.
German national Patrick Cau, also
known as Patrick Kaiser, had pleaded guilty in August to one count of
false information and hoaxes. As part of a plea deal with federal
prosecutors, he admitted making the eight calls between October 2012
through January from pay phones in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas and
Seattle, the U.S. attorney in Central California said.
first bomb hoax came Oct. 4, 2012, when he went to a pay phone near his
home to say that a United flight from London to Los Angeles would be
bombed later that day. Cau called an internal United number for crew
United experienced "substantial disruption" as a
result: Planes were evacuated and flights canceled. Passengers were
searched, rescreened and rebooked on other planes. Law enforcement
agencies searched travelers, baggage and cargo.
Prosecutors did not say how they tracked down Cau or offer a motive.
As part of the sentence, U.S. District Judge Otis Wright II ordered
Cau to pay United $304,495 in restitution and to reimburse the Los
Angeles Police Department $8,838.
Cau, who worked for United for 15 years, also faces possible deportation, his attorney told KCAL-TV.
was fired in April while training with American Airlines after his name
popped up on a government no-fly list, a spokesman told the station.