South Florida Woman Pleads Guilty to a Fraudulent Aircraft Parts Conspiracy
On August 1, 2012, Francisca Diaz, former employee of Aircraft Transparencies Repair (ATR) and Transparencies Engineering Group (TEG), pled guilty in U.S. District Court, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to mail fraud in conjunction with a scheme involving the false representation that aircraft windows were overhauled properly when they were not. Ms. Diaz, a bookkeeper who was responsible for the payroll data entry and bookkeeping of ATR, and with full knowledge that ATR had its repair station certificate revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), created separate accounting spreadsheets that enabled fellow employees to be paid in cash, rather than by company check. This gave the false appearance that ATR was no longer operating as a repair station. 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 ATR or TEG's inventory prior to ATR's repair station certificate revocation. Additionally, serial numbers on the windows that had been sent to ATR by its customers were changed to disguise the source of the windows and to further make it appear that all work had been performed prior to the repair station revocation.
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 FAA.