Convicted Of Using Imaginary 'CQ Air' As A Front For
Roger Sedlak's regional airlines started raising eyebrows back
in 2006. "CQ Air" was said to be a start-up based in Harrisburg, PA
which would serve destinations throughout the northeast US. Over
time, curious passengers, economic development officials and others
started asking, "Where are the airplanes?"
Sedlak had enough knowledge of airline terms to create
believable job postings for pilots. One said he showed up for an
interview with the company at Harrisburg International Airport and
was directed to a room with a hand-written paper "CQ Airlines" sign
taped to the door. The Albany Times-Union reports Sedlak
received $75,000 in federal funds from the FAA and $12,500 each
from two unnamed counties to aid in the start-up.
Finally, in March of 2009, as
ANN reported, undercover deputies from the
Albany County Sheriff's Department, posing as customers, responded
to Sedlak's advertisements for an escort service called Diamond
Escorts on Craig's List.
They arranged to meet at a Hampton Inn in Latham. Several women
were arrested on misdemeanor charges of prostitution. Federal
prosecutors say they determined there was never any actual airline.
The US Attorney's office in Harrisburg, PA said, "Using various
aliases, he would rent rooms at a variety of local hotels claiming
that he was using them for airline business."
The feds brought charges against Sedlak, his wife and Kelli
Kaylor, an alleged third conspirator described as Sedlak's partner,
alleging that CQ Air was never a real airline, but rather was an
elaborate front for a prostitution operation. The three each faced
up to each face up to 35 years in prison on charges of
"transporting and causing the transportation in interstate commerce
of an individual with the intent that the individual engage in
prostitution, persuading and enticing an individual to engage in
interstate travel for the purpose of prostitution, and conspiracy
to commit those offenses."
The case wrapped up last week. The Morning Call
newspaper of Allentown, Pennsylvania reports US District Judge
William Caldwell sentenced Sedlak last week to 12 years in federal
prison and 10 years of supervised release, after involving as many
as 42 women in the online prostitution ring.
According to the Harrisburg Patriot-News, Sedlak, who
is now 50 years old, got choked up while pleading with the judge at
his sentencing. "The people who came to work for us, they were
wonderful people," he said. "They were never prostitutes.
They were hard-working women who had no choice but to raise money
the way we did. We gave them a good place to work. It was