South Florida Aircraft Parts Inspector Pleads Guilty to a Fraudulent Aircraft Parts Conspiracy
On May 24, 2012, Geovanni Hernandez, former inspector, Aircraft Transparencies Repair (ATR) and Transparencies Engineering Group (TEG), pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to wire fraud in conjunction with a scheme involving the false representation 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 knowing that they were not authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to certify these windows.
The investigation revealed that from August 2009, to August 2010, ATR's employees continued repairing aircraft cockpit windows despite having their 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 that the windows had been retrieved from inventory prior to the repair station certificate revocation. Serial numbers on the windows were changed to disguise their source 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 the FAA.