El Segundo police said Tuesday that a two-year investigation has broken up an $800,000 credit card scam that defrauded airlines and credit card companies by using stolen credit card numbers, and sold tickets to passengers for as little as half price.
The airlines and credit card companies absorbed all the losses, police said.
The investigation ended with the arrests of two men on suspicion of grand theft: Darrell Jerome Fields, 44, who police said passed himself off as a travel agent, and Eltoine Edward Howard, 33, an operator of a mobile disc jockey service. Police said they apparently obtained the credit card numbers from credit card receipts supplied by hotel employees, or found them in searches of rubbish.
Fields was arrested after he sold one of the tickets to an undercover El Segundo officer, police said.
The pair advertised in several newspapers, then obtained tickets for their customers by using the stolen numbers. The scheme worked because airlines did not check to see if the customers' names corresponded to the stolen credit card numbers, police said.