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United Airlines accused of running 'sham' fuel company

6:27 PM, Jan. 15, 2013  |  Comments
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Agency: United running 'sham' business

A transportation agency on Monday filed a lawsuit alleging that United Airlines is falsely claiming to buy huge amounts of jet fuel out of a small, rural Illinois office that doesn't even have a computer to avoid paying tens of millions of dollars in taxes in Chicago, where the purchases are allegedly being made.

The Regional Transportation Authority alleges United Aviation Fuels Corp., a subsidiary of United Airlines, has operated a "sham" office in the DeKalb County community of Sycamore since 2001 after reaching an agreement to pay the town more than $300,000 a year - a fraction of what it would have owed in sales taxes in Chicago and Cook County.

United officials say they have not seen the lawsuit, but that the Sycamore operation is legal.

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