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Investigations

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Texas Man Sentenced for Making a False Statement to the Federal Aviation Administration

On June 7, 2011, Darryl G. Reynolds was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Tyler, Texas for making a false statement to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to obtain an Airworthiness Certificate for an aircraft, which Mr. Reynolds obtained through the General Services Administration Federal Surplus Property Program.  Mr. Reynolds was sentenced to serve five months imprisonment, five months home confinement and three years of supervised release.  He also was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and a $100 special assessment.  In addition, Mr. Reynolds must surrender to the government three UH-1H helicopters he obtained through the surplus program and pay all associated expenses related to their return.

Mr. Reynolds operated the Texas Firebirds Volunteer Fire Department (TFVFB), a non-profit corporation located in Van Zandt County, Texas.  The stated purpose of the TFVFD was to provide aerial firefighting support.  On behalf of TFVFD, Mr. Reynolds obtained surplus aircraft through the federal surplus property program.  One of the aircraft was a twin-engine aircraft, previously owned and operated by the U. S. Forest Service.  Mr. Reynolds obtained the aircraft without an airworthiness certificate because the U.S Forest Service had surrendered the certificate to the FAA due to the fact that the aircraft was determined to have reached the end of its useful life.  Mr. Reynolds then applied for a new airworthiness certificate for the aircraft by submitting an application to the FAA in which he represented that the original airworthiness certificate had been lost, when he knew the certificate had been surrendered.

This investigation was conducted jointly with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; General Services Administration, Office of the Inspector General; Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Ranger Division; and FAA.