SAN DIEGO, May 10, 2012 – Today’s free legal advice from your favorite divorce lawyer: Please don’t make phone calls to the airlines when you’re angry about your relationship. You’re welcome.
Johnna Woolfolk of Los Angeles, 51, was sentenced recently to two years probation, 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay restitution of $240 for calling in a phony bomb threat to AirTran Airways.
Woolfolk found out her husband was flying to Atlanta to see a mistress at Thanksgiving, and so she called the airline with a tip that her husband was carrying a bomb onto the flight.
U.S. District Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen said she took into account that Woolfolk had a clean record and seemed genuinely remorseful when she sentenced her.
“While this is a serious offense, I do believe this was aberrant behavior,” the judge said, adding that Woolfolk had a clean record and was genuinely remorseful.
Woolfolk told the court that the incident took place when she was “going through a lot” of emotional stress over her relationship problems. She pled guilty to one count of conveying false and misleading information. She said she just wanted to keep her husband from leaving town. She was successful. The FBI stopped her husband and questioned him at the airport, and he did miss his flight.
Meanwhile, another scorned woman also went the bomb threat route. Like Woolfolk it ended up backfiring on her, too. Lizet Sariol of Temple City in the greater Los Angels area was angry after her French boyfriend dumped her by “unfriending” her on Facebook. So the 46-year-old woman called United Airlines last fall and told call center representative Shan West there would be “an emergency” on a flight from Las Vegas to Paris.
She reported receiving texts from “foreigners” that hinted at some sort of act of terrorism.
After the airline received the anonymous tip, they took the phone call seriously and both airline and federal transportation safety officials stopped Sariol’s former lover, Adnen Mansouri, and his “travel companion” (law enforcement’s term, not mine) Salim Oumahdi, at the Los Angeles airport prior to boarding their flight.
Oumahdi happens to be a man.
Sariol intended to be anonymous, but after calling the airline she reportedly sent a text to her ex-lover: “Really hope you all have a great flight. Don’t even try to get on the plane (I) called the fbi Sucks to be all of you hope you all have good attorneys.”
She sent a similar text to his companion.
Los Angeles television station KTLA reported that Mansouri was not all that surprised Sariol pulled this stunt. He said she had been harassing him after he ended their relationship, leaving him dozens of voicemail, text, and Facebook messages in the days before his trip.
Call center employee West later told FBI investigators he took the call seriously, even though Sariol never used the word “bomb.” “I thought it was a bomb. I was real nervous.”
Sariol surrendered to the FBI, and was charged and pled guilty to one count of fabricating a terrorist threat. She is due to be sentenced May 21. She faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Mansouri filed a victim impact statement in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles for consideration in Sariol’s sentencing. He wrote in part “My name is everywhere on internet concerning terrorism. Lizet Sariol made dirty my name whether USA or in France, all medias of the world relieved the affair. It had an impact in France for this story. My family and me have suffered of these news. My last name and my first name lost any credibilities with my professional partners, they are synonymic of terrorism. Since I returned in France, there is no day where I do not think has this bad story.”
Mansouri said he spent nearly $12,000 getting home and straightening things out.
In a third case, a bomb threat was made for love. Soraya Evette Billinge of Fort Myers, Florida, was upset because her husband was required to work the night shift at Southwest Florida International Airport.
Billinge called the airport police to complain about her husband’s schedule. When they told her they couldn’t help her, she said, “Okay I blow up, I blow up ten planes,” she reportedly told dispatchers.
Billinge was arrested and is facing felony charges.
Traveling is stressful enough these days without having flights delayed, diverted, or cancelled because you’re having a relationship meltdown.
Calling a family law attorney is a much more productive way to take care of your problems, and in these three cases it would have been a whole lot cheaper. Believe me. Next time you want to mess up a flight leaving Southern California, call Lawyer Myra first.
Myra Chack Fleischer founded Fleischer & Associates in 2001 and serves as Lead Counsel with a focus on divorce, property, custody and support, settlement agreements, mediation, asset division and family law appeals. Read more Legally Speaking in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Fleischer & Associates on Facebook and on Twitter @LawyerMyra
Fleischer can be reached via Google+
Copyright © 2012 by Fleischer & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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