Former Nashville airport official charged with mail fraud - WSMV News 4

Former Nashville airport official charged with mail fraud

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Nashville International Airport (WSMV file photo) Nashville International Airport (WSMV file photo)

A former Nashville airport official has been indicted on a charge of mail fraud in connection with his role as telecommunications service manager, according to court documents.

The indictment from a federal grand jury was filed on Thursday against John Pat Banister Sr.

The indictment claimed that Banister used his position with the Metro Nashville Airport Authority to embezzle and steal cell phones purchased with airport funds.

Banister committed the offenses between February 2015 and January 2017, according to the indictment. He allegedly “knowingly and with intent to defraud, executed and attempted to execute a scheme and artifice to defraud MNAA and to obtain the monies, funds and other property owned by, and under the custody of MNAA by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises.”

According to the indictment, cell phone provides sent via mail, through a private commercial carrier, at least 282 new and upgraded phones in response to the fraudulent requests.

Banister is alleged to have sold the phones to a person identified as “Individual 1,” who owned and operated a cell phone resale business, according to the indictment.

The indictment said Banister sold stolen and embezzled cell phones on multiple occasions. The total monetary loss to the airport authority was $134,627.21.

According to court documents Banister could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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