Former Employee Pleads Guilty in Aircraft Repair Fraud

 - August 15, 2012, 1:15 PM

Francisca Diaz, former employee of Aircraft Transparencies Repair (ATR) and Transparencies Engineering Group (TEG), has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to mail fraud in conjunction with a scheme involving the false representation that aircraft windows had been overhauled properly when they had not. It is the continuation of a March 22 multi-count indictment filed against 16 employees of ATR and TEG for conspiracy to sell and falsely certify to commercial aviation customers the airworthiness of aircraft cockpit windows.

Diaz was a bookkeeper for ATR at the time. Knowing that the operation had lost its FAA certification, she created a separate accounting system that allowed employees to be paid in cash instead of by check. The shadow system created the illusion that ATR was no longer operating as a repair station.

On March 28 a multi-count indictment was filed against 12 employees of ATR and TEG charging them with conspiracy to sell and falsely certify to commercial aviation customers the airworthiness of aircraft cockpit windows using FAA Form 8130-3 Authorized Release Certificates, knowing they were not authorized by the FAA to certify the airworthiness of the windows. Attempts to contact Diaz for comment were unsuccessful.