Recent Flux of Criminal Cases
Signal that FAA’s compliance and collaboration means ENFORCEMENT is alive
It is not a statistically based observation, but it seems that the use of criminal powers has increased recently. Is there a reason for this apparent trend”?
- Is Flight Standards sending a message that Collaboration/ Cooperation does not mean a “get out of jail” Ticket?
- Does this trend reflect an increased emphasis by the US DoT OIG office?
- Are these cases symptoms of poor economy, rampant stupidity or just random actions? ⇒WHAT’S YOUR OPINION? PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR THOUGHT IN THE BELOW COMMENT SECTION
March 20, 2018
On March 20, 2018, Ulpiano Luis Amy and James Michael Schiller were sentenced in U.S. District Court, West Palm Beach, Florida, for their roles in a conspiracy to commit aircraft parts fraud and for Amy’s role in the false registration of an aircraft.
Amy was sentenced to 6 months’ incarceration, 3 years’ probation, and 50 hours of community service. The court further mandated that he surrender his FAA certificates and transfer his personally owned airplane to an aviation school within 30 days. Schiller was sentenced to 2 years’ probation and 50 hours of community service, and also had to surrender his FAA certificates.
Schiller, an FAA-certificated airframe and powerplant mechanic, operated a repair facility in Palm Beach County, Florida. On June 11, 2012, he inspected a twin-engine aircraft and determined that the airframe and components were not airworthy primarily due to severe corrosion. He removed the serviceable components, including the aircraft engines and propellers, and reported to FAA the aircraft had been totally destroyed or scrapped. As a result, FAA deregistered the aircraft.
At a later date, Amy, an FAA-certified pilot, obtained engines and propellers from a crashed aircraft and supplied them to Schiller, who installed them on the aircraft he’d previously reported to FAA as scrapped. Schiller concealed these actions by failing to record the installations on the aircraft logbooks as required by FAA regulations.
In late 2013, Amy attempted to register the twin-engine aircraft with FAA. Among the documents he submitted to the FAA registry was an aircraft bill of sale in which he forged the seller’s signature.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with FAA’s assistance.
March 20, 2018
On March 20, 2018, Zachary Symm was indicted in U.S. District Court, Austin, Texas, for fraud involving aircraft parts and wire fraud. The four-count indictment alleges that, on or about January 24, 2012, and up to July 16, 2013, Symm concealed and attempted to conceal the fact that he intentionally represented overhauled jet engine compressor blades as new and charged a customer for new blades. On or about February 14, 2013, and up to June 23, 2014, Symm concealed and attempted to conceal the fact that he intentionally represented surplus jet engine compressor vanes as new and charged a customer for new vanes. The indictment also alleges that Symm used interstate wire communications to execute his scheme.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and with FAA’s assistance.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Court documents say a former Federal Aviation Administration safety inspector pleaded guilty on Guam to three counts of honest services wire fraud.
April 3, 2018, at 10:22 a.m.
Former Flight Inspector Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud in Guam
HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A former Federal Aviation Administration safety inspector pleaded guilty in Guam to three counts of honest services wire fraud, according to court documents.
The case against Timothy J. Cislo was unsealed last week after he entered a plea deal, the Pacific Daily News reported .
Cislo is accused of issuing certificates to Hansen Helicopters Inc. without inspecting the helicopters in exchange for an airplane for his personal use.
Cislo was tasked with issuing and reissuing airworthiness certificates, which are official documents that allow aircrafts to operate, from about May 2014 through January 2018. During that time, Cislo and others were part of a scheme in which Cislo received a Taylorcraft BC-12D aircraft, worth $20,000, from Hansen Helicopters, according to the documents.
Cislo was an inspector in Hawaii when he received the aircraft. Cislo kept the airplane for his private use and in exchange, he issued and reissued special airworthiness certificates to Hansen’s without inspecting or examining the helicopters, according to the documents.
A May 2014 email between Cislo and Hansen employee Kenneth Rufus Crowe mentioned the aircraft Cislo received. After the email exchange, $22,500 was transferred from a Bank of Hawaii account to “E.J.S.” to buy the aircraft, according to the documents.
If convicted, he could face 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
As noted above, this is a list of a few cases without any comparison to the Docket of past cases; hardly a statistical analysis. Without any quantitative justification, these cases serve as a useful warning. The consequences of receiving an indictment with you and/or your company’s name on it. The filing of the complaint will hurt your business immediately, even if you are later acquitted. Your time allocation will be dominated to hours and hours spent with lawyers preparing your defense. Then, both if you win or lose your criminal case, you will have to pay the attorneys’ fees.
All of that merits BEING CAREFUL!!!
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