Published January 13, 2015
A man who nearly became an American Airlines flight attendant has agreed to plead guilty to phoning in bomb threats against another airline.
American said Wednesday that it fired the man after his name appeared on a U.S. government no-fly list. A spokesman for American Airlines said that the man began training in April in Fort Worth and was fired in May.
According to a plea agreement filed last week in federal district court in Los Angeles, Patrick Cau agreed to plead guilty to one count of making a bomb threat against a United Airlines flight from London to Los Angeles in October 2012.
Cau also goes by the name Patrick Kaiser. The indictment says he made threats against six United flights, all of which were flying between Los Angeles and London, between October and January. A message was left with Cau's attorney seeking comment.
The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or potentially more depending on damages. United said it lost $267,912 because flights were delayed or canceled after the threats.
American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said the airline checked Cau's background for any criminal record and whether he was on the no-fly list, but nothing turned up.
"My understanding is he was added to the list after" the airline's background check, Miller said. "That was the first red flag."
Miller said Cau traveled on two flights during training and may have served drinks to passengers but would not have performed any duties related to safety or security.