Flying Tigers Aircraft-inspection Fraud Trial Gets Under Way

 - April 2, 2014, 1:40 PM

The fraud trial of Flying Tigers and its president, Jay Stout, began last Friday in Philadelphia federal court before U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III. One of the prosecution’s primary witnesses is Stout’s son Joel, who is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in March last year to one count of fraud and six counts of mail fraud. Both Stouts, the company and mechanic/inspector Howard “Bud” Gunter were indicted in August 2012 for allegedly charging aircraft owners for inspections that were not conducted by FAA-certified inspectors.

Gunter has since died and Jay Stout faces 14 counts: one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, three counts of fraud involving aircraft parts, five counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud and two counts of obstruction of justice. Flying Tigers, based in Marietta, Pa., faces identical charges.

The prosecution alleges that 35 aircraft received improper inspections between October 2003 and January 2010. It further maintains that Jay Stout, who had his certificates revoked by the FAA, knowingly signed off those inspections. Other allegations included Gunter’s signing inspection papers although he hadn’t done the work and forged signatures of certified inspectors who hadn’t actually done the work.

The company is not related to the 1st American Volunteer Group known as the Flying Tigers or its namesake descendant, Flying Tiger Line. (FedEx bought that company in 1989.)

AIN’s attempts to contact Jay Stout for comment were unsuccessful.