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Former Flight Attendant Sentenced in L.A. for Making Bomb Threats

City News Service | 11/25/2013, 1 p.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif., - A former United Airlines flight attendant was sentenced today in Los Angeles to 18 months in federal prison for making bomb threats against flights operated by the international air carrier.

Patrick Cau, a 41-year-old German citizen who also uses the last name Kaiser, pleaded guilty in August to a federal count for making eight bomb threats against United from October 2012 through last January, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In the first phone call, on Oct. 4, 2012, Cau used a pay phone near his home in Dallas to call an internal United crew scheduling number and stated that a United flight from London to Los Angeles would be bombed later that day, prosecutors said.

Cau made the subsequent calls to 911 from pay phones in Los Angeles, New York City, Las Vegas and Seattle, with all of the calls stating that a specific United flight would be bombed.

Multiple law enforcement agencies were forced to respond to the bomb threats. Passengers were evacuated from targeted airplanes, planes were towed and travelers were searched and re-screened along with baggage and cargo.

As a direct result of Cau’s threats, United experienced substantial disruption to its business operations and services, including flight cancellations and delays, aircraft transfers and significant inconveniences for its passengers, according to prosecutors.

Along with the prison sentence, Cau was ordered to pay about $305,000 in restitution to United and nearly $9,000 to reimburse the Los Angeles Police Department for expenses incurred as a result its response to the bomb threats.

Also, as a German citizen, he faces possible deportation, court papers show.

Cau worked for United for 15 years, eventually becoming a flight attendant, his attorney said.

American accepted Cau into its training program in March, but he was fired in April after his name appeared on a government no-fly list, an American spokesman said.