Feras Founder Cleared of Price-fixing Charges

 - January 5, 2012, 2:25 AM

Evo Jet Services founder Chris Cartwright has confirmed that his 2008 conviction for alleged price fixing in U.S. government fuel contracts was overturned by the U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Sept. 28, 2011. Cartwright and his business partner Paul Wilkinson were arrested in January 2008, while running Far East Russia Aircraft Services (Feras). The successful motion to vacate Cartwright’s conviction came 15 months after the U.S. Department of Justice had dismissed charges against Feras itself. The court ruled that while Cartwright may have been responsible for hiring a consultant with a conflict of interest in the fuel trading contracts, no crime had been committed because the dealings did not involve bribery or kickbacks. Wilkinson’s conviction could not be vacated because he had entered a plea bargain. According to Cartwright, in August 2011, he and Wilkinson separately settled an ongoing civil dispute with Universal Weather & Aviation, the flight support group that had previously been partnered with Feras. “This draws a line under the case and means that we can move on unimpeded by litigation,” Cartwright told AIN. He said that in the past three years Evo has grown to being around one third the size of Feras and is now looking to expand flight-planning and handling support operations in Asia and Eastern Europe.