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North Carolina Civil Engineer Sentenced for Fraud Involving Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Projects

On August 16, 2011, in U.S. District Court, Anderson, South Carolina, G. Martin Wynn, a civil engineer and project manager, was sentenced to twelve months and one day imprisonment, followed by three years supervised release, ordered to pay $118,000 in restitution and a special assessment in the amount of $200.  Earlier this year, Wynn was convicted in a federal jury trial of mail and wire fraud for falsifying a state seal used in connection with a $4.3 million Federal Aviation Administration funded airport improvement project.

The investigation revealed that Wynn transferred a South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control seal from a previously approved runway extension construction plan onto an unapproved set of plans that were going to be used on the continuing airport improvement projects at the Oconee Regional Airport.  Wynn engaged in the forgery to avoid the scrutiny of state environmental regulators, which would have led to additional changes to his plans and possibly substantial delays in construction of the project.  The forged seal represented that the plans had a necessary storm water permit, which guarded against excessive erosion and run-off.  The work at the airport, based on the unapproved plans, coincided with significant run-off of sediment and mud from the airport onto private property and into a nearby lake.

This investigation was conducted jointly with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.