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Former flight attendant pleads guilty in L.A. to making bomb threats

Patrick Cau. (29862)
Patrick Cau.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A former United Airlines flight attendant pleaded guilty today to making a bomb threat against a United jet flying between London and Los Angeles.

Patrick Cau, 40, a German citizen who also uses the last name Kaiser, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II to one count of making a bomb threat against a United Airlines flight in October 2012.

Asked by the judge if he was indeed guilty of the charge, Cau responded, “Yes, your honor.”

The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000, although federal prosecutors agreed to recommend a two-year sentence, according to the plea agreement.

Wright set Nov. 18 for sentencing.

As part of the plea, Cau admitted using pay phones near his Los Angeles home, and in New York, Las Vegas and Seattle to make threats against six United flights between last October and January. One call went to a United crew-scheduling number, the rest to 911, Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa E. Mills said.

Cau agreed to pay restitution — United said it lost about $268,000 in delayed or canceled flights — and, as a German citizen, he faces possible deportation, court papers show.

Mills said Cau must also reimburse local emergency crews for costs associated with their response at Los Angeles International Airport following the threats. That amount has not been determined, the prosecutor said.

Cau remains in custody pending sentencing.

He 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.