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.
The Philadelphia U.S. Attorney’s Office has indicted Flying Tigers of Lancaster, Penn., its president Jay Stout and his son Joel Stout, with various crimes, including conspiracy, fraud involving aircraft parts, wire fraud and obstruction of justice. Also indicted was Howard Gunter, a former FAA certified mechanic and inspector, on charges of conspiracy and fraud involving aircraft parts.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity and the FAA, has announced a 21-count indictment charging 16 defendants in connection with the continued operation of Aircraft Transparencies Repair (ATR) of Hialeah, Fla., after the FAA revoked the company’s operating certificate.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is calling on its members to urge their congressional representatives to include language in pending legislation to repeal the “fuel fraud” provision. The provision, part of the 2005 Highway Bill, changed the collection of taxes for non-commercial jet fuel and required them to be deposited into the Highway Trust Fund.
In the ongoing trial of Platinum Jet executives in Newark, N.J., a U.S. district judge took the unusual step last week of dismissing charges against one of the three men–former director of maintenance Brien McKenzie–saying the prosecution failed to prove its case against him.
Last year Jerry Roy Comeaux and his wife, Vicki, were indicted for “conspiracy to commit fraud, fraud involving aircraft parts, mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering,” according to the U.S. District Court of South Carolina. On Monday, Comeaux pleaded no contest to the felony charges and was sentenced to three years’ probation and payment of more than $400,000 to victims.
Pilots often wonder what happens if they sign a contract to repay training costs when accepting a flying job that involves expensive simulator training but quit before the contract has expired. Conventional wisdom is that such contracts are not enforceable and the hiring company eventually drops the issue. That was not the case for Allen Miller, who accepted a job with Bombardier Aerospace’s Flexjet fractional operation in July 2000.
Garlick Helicopters and Double R Flying Service in Montana and their owner, Ronald Garlick, have been indicted on federal fraud charges in connection with allegedly non-airworthy parts used on a Bell UH-1 and OH-58A. Garlick was convicted in 1998 on similar charges and served a year in prison, according to the DOT. At press time Garlick declined to comment.
A lawsuit accusing safety audit specialist Aviation Research Group/ U.S. (ARG/US) of defamation was settled last month when a U.S. District Court judge granted a motion by ARG/US for a summary judgment of dismissal.