Charter broker indicted for multi-year theft worth over $4m
A Florida-based charter broker has been indicted for stealing over $4m from three different parties over the span of three years.
Williams Boos, 55, is alleged to have stolen more than $3m from a consulting firm, over $1m from an international art gallery and $63,000 from a television journalist between December 2017 and December 2020.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg confirmed Boos is charged with two counts of Grand Larceny in the First Degree, one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, two counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree and 32 counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Third Degree.
“Boos thought he could fly above the law, allegedly using his clients’ American Express cards without authorisation to siphon off millions for himself,” said Bragg. “But now, thanks to the hard work of my office, he’s landed in hot water. New Yorkers deserve to book air travel without worrying about falling victim to theft and criminal fraud.”
According to court documents and statements made on the record, Boos charged an international consulting firm, with a Manhattan office, millions of dollars for flights its employees did not take between December 2017 and May 2018. He had a business relationship with the firm and access to one of its American Express credit accounts to charge it for legitimate private charter flights. It is alleged by the DA, Boos took advantage of this relationship and charged the firm’s credit card more than $3m, without its knowledge, for flights never requested or taken.
The defendant also allegedly stole more than $1m from an art gallery, again with a Manhattan office, which he had provided private air travel services. Typically, the gallery paid Direct Airway (of which Boos is president) directly for its trips via wire transfers. But, in September 2019, unknown to the art gallery, Boos used its American Express account information to pay for the flights that he had booked for the art gallery — as well as for some of his other unrelated customers.
The gallery noticed the unauthorised travel charges and contacted Boos, he claimed that the charges had been made in error and assured the gallery would receive refunds. Boos then sent 24 forged documents purporting to show refunds to the American Express account.
Boos also reportedly stole more than $63,000 from a Manhattan-based television journalist in December 2020 for a roundtrip flight. Boos sent two forged contracts purportedly signed by the journalist to the aircraft provider he brokered for the flight. In those contracts, it is alleged, Boos provided the journalist’s American Express credit card information without their knowledge.
Although the journalist paid Boos for the flights by wiring funds directly to Direct Airway, Boos did not send this money to the aircraft provider. The provider charged the journalist’s American Express credit card account instead, resulting in the journalist being billed twice for the same flights. When confronted, Boos blamed the charter flight provider and sent forged letters purportedly issued by it apologising for the error. He also sent the journalist’s PA forged documents purporting to show refunds to their American Express account in the amounts of the unauthorised charges.
The investigation into BOOS and his company, Direct Airway, began after American Express notified the Manhattan DA’s office about the suspicious activity.