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An arrest warrant has been issued for a Chicago-area charter flight broker accused of stealing more than $20,000 from a Lincoln business executive who arranged a trip from Sweden to Italy.

The executive contacted Dennis P. Jans of Charter Jet International in July 2016 to arrange the private flight from Malmo, Sweden, to Naples, Italy, for four days later that month, a Lincoln police investigator wrote in court documents.

The executive gave Jans his credit card information to secure the reservation and had his Lincoln bank wire Jans $22,830 on July 22 for the flight and the broker's commission.

Police believe Jans took the money for himself and claimed the wire transfer never went through, saying he would provide the jet company with the executive's credit card information until the issue was resolved.

After the trip, the executive noticed the jet company had charged his American Express card for $23,519.

He disputed the charge, and learned in November that the jet company had never received the wired payment even though that money was no longer in his account.

He tried getting answers from Jans, but Jans never replied, so he contacted police in April, the investigator said.

In a phone call, Jans told the investigator his business had some difficulties.

Bank statements showed Jans' account was overdrawn by 22 cents in the days before the executive wired money to him for the flight, the investigator said. But over the next 17 days, the account showed withdrawals totaling more than $10,000 at a casino and more than $5,000 at ATMs.

Bank records showed those were common withdrawals for Jans, who spent more than $46,000 at the same casino between February and December 2016, the investigator found.

There was no indication from bank records that Jans ever transferred money to the jet company for the executive.

Lancaster County prosecutors have charged Jans, 59, of Northbrook, Illinois, with theft by deception of more than $5,000. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Jans had not been arrested as of Thursday afternoon.

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On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.



Riley Johnson reports on breaking news and public safety issues in Lincoln and southeast Nebraska.

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