Grand Jury Indicts Former Weco Owner for Fraud

 - October 17, 2012, 12:30 PM

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced a federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment charging William Hugh Weygandt, 63, of Granite Bay, Calif., for conspiracy to commit fraud involving aircraft parts. Weygandt is the former owner and president of Weco Aerospace Systems, an FAA-certified repair station based in Lincoln, Calif., that was purchased in 2007 by Gulfstream Aerospace. Wagner’s is the latest indictment in an ongoing investigation into Weco’s business practices before it was purchased by Gulfstream Aerospace.

A year ago this month AIN reported that former Weco executives Jerry Edward Kuwata, 60, of Granite Bay; Michael Dennis Maupin, 58, of Arbuckle; Scott Hamilton Durham, 39, of Roseville; Christopher Warren MacQueen, 53, of Lincoln; Douglas Arthur Johnson, 52, of Granite Bay; and Anthony Vincent Zito, 47, of Saugus, were indicted by the grand jury on Sept. 29, 2011, for conspiracy and fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate commerce and for mail fraud. Kuwata, Durham, MacQueen and Johnson are also charged in the superseding indictment. Maupin and Zito have pleaded guilty to federal offenses and await sentencing.

Prosecutors allege the defendants regularly directed Weco technicians to use unapproved parts in repairs. On one occasion, MacQueen allegedly used a paper clip instead of an approved part to complete a repair and then returned that part to the customer after certifying that the repair had been done properly. It was also alleged that the defendants did not use the manufacturer’s required Component Maintenance Manual when conducting repairs and didn’t have the necessary equipment to perform required tests. AIN’s attempts to contact the accused for comment were unsuccessful.



WECO Aerospace overhauled and repaired components have been installed on several aircraft that I have maintained over the years. Never did I ever see a failure on, or ever note a WECO overhauled or repaired component that did not make it safely to its recommended life limit before overhaul. At the time that the FAA Suspected or Unapproved Parts notification involving WECO returned to service parts was issued, I had several items with WECO return to service documents attached to them. All of them were functionally tested by outside source repair stations and found to be in compliance with the manufacturer's component maintenance manual requirements for performance, and all were returned to service by those outside sources. Just wanted to share my experience regarding this action and hope readers understand that during the ongoing indictments, I have chosen to keep my name withheld.

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