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A prominent Denver stockbroker is facing criminal charges and civil litigation after allegedly calling 911 while at Miami International Airport last month to report that a Pakistani-American ticket agent was a terrorist. Authorities arrested Richard Federman, 48, of Greenwood, Colo., after they recalled his departing United Airlines flight from an airport taxiway. Federman was charged with two misdemeanors — making a false police report and interfering with aircraft operations. Now, Federman is also the target of a civil lawsuit that is expected to be filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court today. Russell S. Adler, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., attorney who represents Malcolm Rego, the United ticket agent, said Monday that his client accuses Federman of committing a hate crime, among other civil charges. Informed of the proposed lawsuit, Federman said he was stunned and that he is suffering from “emotional problems.” He declined further comment. Federman is a certified financial analyst for Consumer Banking Strategies, and is often quoted in Denver newspapers. He was last year’s secretary and job placement chair for the Denver Society of Security Analysts. According to the Miami-Dade police report, a draft of the lawsuit and Adler, Federman was waiting for an overbooked flight to Denver from Miami at about 6 p.m. on Jan. 5. He was among a group of passengers who had expressed a willingness to relinquish their seats on the airplane in exchange for a later flight and compensation. But when his name was not called, he became angry with Rego, the ticket agent. Later, the flight was delayed due to mechanical problems. Again, Federman approached Rego and asked him if he could obtain a refund for the flight. Rego told him no, the plane was fine, according to Adler, a partner in the firm Karmin & Adler in Fort Lauderdale. That’s when Federman spotted Rego’s name tag, went to a terminal pay phone and dialed 911, Adler claimed in a draft of the lawsuit. “There’s a known terrorist” on the flight, Federman is said to have told the dispatcher, identifying that person as Rego, the ticket agent. Federman then boarded the plane without mentioning the incident to anyone, according to the police report. Four Miami-Dade police officers, two Federal Aviation Administration agents and two FBI agents appeared and questioned Rego. They asked him if anything unusual had occurred and he told them about Federman. The agents then ordered the flight recalled to the gate and pulled Federman from the plane. According to the police report, Federman “admitted to making said phone call.” The agents arrested Federman. The flight was delayed for 50 minutes, costing United $5,000, the police report says. Adler contends Federman’s motivation for making the call was to get the flight canceled, because he did not want to fly on a plane that had experienced mechanical problems. Rego, a U.S. citizen who has worked for United for six years and previously for Eastern Airlines, was not allowed by United to speak to reporters. But through Adler, he said he was “outraged and humiliated” by the incident, and fears that he may somehow be forever included in an FBI data bank as a suspicious Pakistani-American. “He’s a career employee of United,” said Adler. “Nothing like this has ever happened to him before. Mr. Federman took advantage of the worst fears of passengers.” Rego is suing Federman for libel per se, false imprisonment (having caused Rego to be detained falsely), intentional infliction of emotional distress and a civil claim for hate crime. He is seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages. “It depends on his net worth,” said Adler of Federman. “The point is to hit him for enough to make it hurt.” United spokesman Joe Hopkins would say only that the airline will give Rego time off with pay to handle any court proceedings — “on the criminal side.” “We support our employees,” Hopkins said.

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