Pennsylvania Aircraft Repair Company Indicted For Aircraft Parts Fraud; Company Official Arrested
On August 14, 2012, the United States Attorney's Office, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, announced the unsealing of an indictment charging Flying Tigers, Inc. and its president, Jay Stout, and his son, Joel Stout, with various crimes including conspiracy, fraud involving aircraft parts, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice. In addition, the indictment charged Howard Gunter, a former FAA certified mechanic and inspector, with conspiracy and fraud involving aircraft parts. Jay Stout and Joel Stout operated Flying Tigers, a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, based aircraft maintenance facility that provided repair services and annual aircraft inspections. The investigation revealed that Flying Tigers was not an FAA certified repair station nor a certified maintenance facility, but instead relied upon the FAA certifications and inspection authority of individual mechanics. In 2003, the FAA permanently revoked Jay Stout’s authority to conduct aircraft inspections. Joel Stout did not hold any FAA certificates or inspection authority past March 2006. However, the investigation revealed that between October 2006 and October 2009, Flying Tigers charged customers for annual aircraft inspections that were either not performed by FAA certified mechanics, or were not performed at all. The indictment further alleged that Mr. Gunter certified annual inspections although he did not perform those inspections and that Jay and Joel Stout prepared fraudulent certifications and forged signatures of an unsuspecting certified inspector who had not performed the inspections. The five year transportation safety investigation revealed that the defendants routinely altered airframe and engine logbooks and made false entries to conceal their actions. Once Jay Stout learned of the government's investigation, it is alleged he obstructed justice by altering aircraft logbooks in order to conceal the false certifications. Flying Tigers conducted more than 75 questionable aircraft inspections between 2006 and 2009.
On August 14, 2012, OIG agents safely arrested Jay Stout at his residence without incident. Joel Stout and Howard Gunter have been ordered to self-surrender through their respective attorneys.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.