Former Northern California Company Owner Charged in Superceding Indictment For Fraudulent Aircraft Repairs
On October 10, 2012, a federal grand jury in Sacramento, California, returned a superseding indictment charging William Hugh Weygandt, Granite Bay, California, with conspiracy to commit fraud involving aircraft parts. Mr. Weygandt is the former owner and president of WECO Aerospace Systems Inc., a Federal Aviation Administration-certified air repair station based in Lincoln, California, which was purchased in 2007 by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. Former WECO executives Jerry Edward Kuwata, Granite Bay; Michael Dennis Maupin, Arbuckle, California; Scott Hamilton Durham, Roseville, California; Christopher Warren MacQueen, Lincoln, California; Douglas Arthur Johnson, Granite Bay; and Anthony Vincent Zito, Saugus, California, were previously indicted by the grand jury on September 29, 2011, for mail fraud and conspiracy and fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate commerce. Messrs. Kuwata, Durham, MacQueen, and Johnson are also charged in the superseding indictment. Mr. Maupin and Mr. Zito pled guilty and await sentencing. Mr. Weygandt had not previously been charged.
The investigation found that 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 certified that the repair had been done properly. During the repair of an aircraft part, a certified repair station is required to comply with the manufacturer's Component Maintenance Manual (CMM), a step-by-step guide for conducting a proper repair of the part. The CMM is prepared by the manufacturer and approved by the FAA and contains the steps that a repair shop must take to fix a part, as well as the tests and inspections that must be done before the part can be returned to service. The investigation determined that the defendants regularly failed to follow the CMMs, and in fact did not have the equipment needed to perform many of the required tests. Nonetheless the defendants performed, or directed WECO technicians to perform repairs of parts and then returned those parts to customers.
This is a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.