A former agent at a Washington travel company was charged Friday with stealing nearly 3.7 million airline miles from high-end clients, then using them to buy plane tickets for herself and her family.
Karen Yeakel was fired from Stellar Travel in Bellevue in June 2011, after discrepancies in the frequent-flier account of one of her top clients turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg, said company partner Susan Bluhm. According to a wire fraud charge unsealed Friday, Yeakel used the airline miles to buy 135 flights for herself and her family. She’s also accused of using the credit cards of some clients to buy $180,000 worth of plane tickets, then providing those to customers at discounts. Yeakel’s lawyer did not return an email seeking comment.