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American Airlines' trainee found on 'no-fly' list

Darren Booth | CNBC

A flight attendant trainee for American Airlines has been fired after the airline discovered he is on the government's "no-fly" list for making several bomb threats against United Airlines.

Despite clearing a background check without any warning bells going off, Patrick Cau was discovered to also go by the name of Patrick Kaiser, the identity on the "no-fly" list.

Cau, 40, allegedly called in eight bomb threats to United Airlines between October 2012 and January 2013, according to an 18-page plea agreement filed in federal court in California. Cau is expected to plead guilty to the charges next week.

Patrick Cau, flight attendant trainee
U.S. District Court of California
Patrick Cau, flight attendant trainee

The court documents show that Cau called 911 using payphones in Los Angeles, New York City, Las Vegas and Seattle to claim a bomb was on a United flight. At least six of the threats were for flights between Los Angeles and London.

United said it lost about $268,000 in canceled and delayed flights due to Cau's threats.

American removed him from the training program in Fort Worth, Texas, back in May. The airline sent an email to employees Tuesday to explain the situation.

Cau could serve a maximum of five years in prison and has agreed in his plea deal to pay $250,000 in restitution to United.

—By Sophia Rosenbaum, NBC News.