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Investigations

Date

Revoked South Florida Repair Station President, Vice-President, and General Manager Plead Guilty to Aircraft Parts Conspiracy

On August 9, 2012, Rangel Fernandez, President, Ivan Fernandez, Vice-President, and Jerry Frystak, General Manager, Aircraft Transparencies Repair (ATR) and Transparencies Engineering Group (TEG), pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to mail fraud in conjunction with a scheme involving false representations that aircraft windows were overhauled properly, when they were not. On March 22, 2012, a multi-count indictment was filed against 16 employees of ATR and TEG for conspiracy to sell and falsely certify to commercial aviation customers the airworthiness of aircraft cockpit windows. The investigation revealed that from approximately August 2009, to August 2010, ATR's employees continued repairing aircraft cockpit windows despite having its repair station certificate revoked in July 2009. As part of the scheme, ATR/TEG purchased "as removed" aircraft cockpit windows in the open market and backdated documents, to make it appear to the customer that the windows had been retrieved from their  inventory prior to the repair station certificate revocation. Additionally, serial numbers on the windows sent to ATR by customers were changed to further make it appear that all work had been done prior to the revocation. As part of the conspiracy, Rangel Fernandez backdated documentation and/or changed the serial numbers of the cockpit windows and Ivan Fernandez supervised and approved the back dating of documentation.  He also converted check payments into cash rather than depositing them into corporate accounts, in an effort to under report the true income at ATR/TEG, thus enhancing the illusion that ATR was complying with the FAA Revocation Order. Frystak manipulated ATR's work order tracking system to back date documents and directed the removal of incriminating database entries from the ATR computer network, thus making the tracking of these parts by FAA and commercial aviation customers more difficult.

This investigation is being worked jointly with the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with substantial assistance from the FAA.