Platinum Jet Cofounder Pleads

 - June 29, 2009, 10:52 AM

Andre Budhan, cofounder of defunct charter operator Platinum Jet, pleaded guilty to defrauding charter customers and brokers, as well as impeding and obstructing the FAA, in a case relating to the 2005 crash of a Challenger 600 at Teterboro (N.J.) Airport. In doing so, he admitted he and his conspirators booked and flew some 100 illegal charter flights. Budhan faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss caused by his offense, whichever is greater. His five co-defendants–Platinum Jet cofounders Michael and Paul Brassington, director of maintenance Brien McKenzie, director of charters Joseph Singh and pilot Francis Vieira–have pleaded not guilty and are scheduled to stand trial in January.