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The chairman’s flight

Tom Fox | July 18, 2016

Last week the Justice Department announced it had reached a plea agreement with David Sampson, the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who pressured executives of United Airlines to reopen a money-losing route, which flew near Sampson’s weekend home in South Carolina. In return for this perk, Sampson agreed to allow United to increase its hangar allocation at the carrier’s hub in Newark, NJ. Sampson pled guilty to one count of bribery. Also charged in connection with the same facts was an adviser to Sampson, Jamie Fox (no relation to The Man from FCPA) who advised Sampson on how to pressure United most effectively to obtain the benefits he desired.

The scheme was simple enough. As reported by the New York Times, the staff of the Port Authority had recommended approval of the lease of a hangar with United. Sampson however pulled the transaction from the board agenda when it came up for routine approval, demonstrating to United they would...

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