Jury Convicts Two Company Executives for Operating an Illegal Luxury Charter Jet Company
On November 15, 2010, following a four-week trial, brothers Michael F. Brassington and Paul Brassington, co-founders of the now-defunct Platinum Jet Management (PJM), a luxury air charter service based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were convicted by a federal jury in Newark, New Jersey, on charges stemming from a 2005 airplane crash in Teterboro, New Jersey.
On February 2, 2005, a PJM passenger jet crashed while attempting take-off. The aircraft over-ran the runway at Teterboro Airport, struck two cars as it crossed a roadway, and crashed into a warehouse, resulting in injuries.
A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation concluded that the aircraft's incorrect center of gravity contributed to the crash. An OIG investigation revealed that the flight's first officer, relied on Michael Brassington's representations concerning the weight of the aircraft, which caused the plane to be over-fueled; causing an imbalance in the center of gravity.
Michael Brassington, PJM's President, CEO, and chief pilot, was found guilty of endangering an aircraft, conspiracy to defraud the government, making false statements in flight log books, and providing false information to the NTSB during their accident investigation. Paul Brassington, PJM's Vice President, solicited business and booked flights on its behalf, was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Sentencing is scheduled for March 2011.
For more information, please click on the attachment above to view the press release from the USAO District of New Jersey - DOJ Press Release.