Lobbyist charged in flight shakedown makes court appearance

AP News
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Posted: Aug 03, 2016 12:42 PM

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A former United Airlines lobbyist charged with conspiracy in a shakedown involving the former chairman of the agency that controls New York City-area airports has made an initial court appearance.

Jamie Fox didn't enter a plea Wednesday to the charge of conspiracy to commit bribery. His bail was set at $100,000.

Federal prosecutors allege the 61-year-old helped David Samson get a regular flight to Samson's vacation home in South Carolina when Fox was a paid consultant and lobbyist for United. Samson pleaded guilty last month.

Fox's lawyer says he would never jeopardize his reputation by engaging in illegal behavior.

Chicago-based United agreed to pay a $2.25 million penalty and says it agreed to continue to enhance its compliance, anti-bribery and anti-corruption program.

Fox faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.