Five Plead Guilty in Fraudulent Aircraft Parts Scheme
Five South Florida individuals pled guilty in May to mail and wire fraud charges related to a scheme that falsely represented aircraft windows as properly overhauled. All five - Diego Garcia, Ivonne Portales, Geovanni Hernandez, Chabela Anerios and Aileen Bermudez - were former employees of Aircraft Transparencies Repair (ATR) and Transparencies Engineering Group (TEG) of Hialeah, Fla.
A multi-count indictment was filed on March 22, 2012, against 16 employees of ATR and TEG for conspiracy to sell and falsely certify to commercial aviation customers the airworthiness of aircraft cockpit windows. The indictment alleged that the employees used FAA Form 8130-3 Authorized Release Certificates, work orders and traceability documentation, while knowing that ATR and TEG were not authorized to certify the airworthiness of the windows.
The investigation revealed that from approximately August 2009 to August 2010, ATR’s employees continued repairing aircraft cockpit windows despite the fact that ATR’s repair station certificate had been revoked in July 2009. As part of the scheme, ATR/TEG purchased “as removed” aircraft cockpit windows in the open market and backdated documents, to make it appear to the customer that the windows had been retrieved from ATR’s or TEG’s inventories prior to ATR’s repair station certificate revocation.
Additionally, serial numbers on the windows that had been sent to ATR by its customers were changed to disguise the source of the windows and to further make it appear that all work had been performed prior to the repair station revocation. The investigation was a joint effort of the Department of Labor, the FBI, the Office of Inspector General, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FAA.