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Former Charter Jet Company Director Sentenced for Conspiring to Defraud the FAA by Using Unqualified Pilots

On August 16, 2011, Joseph Singh, the former Director of Charters for Platinum Jet Management (PJM), was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Newark, New Jersey, to one year probation, restitution in the amount of $200,000 (payable to victims of the impacted flights) and a $5,000 fine.

On July 7, 2009, Singh pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud charter customers and brokers and to impede and obstruct the FAA.  Singh admitted that as Director of Charters for PJM, he dispatched unqualified or unrested pilots, including the pilot of the jet that crashed at Teterboro Airport, Teterboro, New Jersey, on February 2, 2005.  He further admitted that from November 2003, until shortly after the Teterboro crash, he booked charter flights for PJM using charter brokers and dispatched unqualified PJM pilots to fly a number of the flights, while representing to the charter brokers through wire communications that PJM would operate in compliance with federal law.

According to Singh, he dispatched John Kimberling, who was not a qualified commercial pilot, to fly the ill-fated flight from Teterboro to Chicago. The plane crashed into a warehouse after failing to lift off.  Singh admitted that he knew Kimberling was not qualified to fly that flight, and he further admitted to dispatching Kimberling on other flights.  He also helped his lead co-defendant, Michael Brassington, cover up PJM's illegal conduct surrounding the Teterboro crash by drafting a pair of bogus letters for submission to the National Transportation Safety Board.