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South Florida Repair Station Owner Pleads Guilty To Aircraft Parts Fraud

On March 11, 2010, Willie McCain, owner of McCain Research Lab, pled guilty in the Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach, to four counts of fraud involving aircraft parts.  McCain is scheduled to be sentenced on May 20, 2010.  McCain had previously been indicted on charges that he completed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) form 8130 certifying certain aircraft parts were inspected using FAA certified data and were approved for return to service.  McCain does not hold the appropriate rating with the FAA to certify these aircraft parts for return to service nor are the parts listed on his FAA Capabilities List. 

The DOT OIG initiated an investigation based on information obtained from an anonymous complaint alleging that a conspiracy existed in which companies who were not approved by the FAA or the Department of Defense had manufactured aircraft parts for military and civilian aircraft.  In most cases, these manufacturers would not sell directly to aviation customers, but instead sold to various brokers, who conspired with them to sell the substandard aircraft parts to the aviation industry. In cases where the customer required supporting FAA authentication documents, brokers would further conspire with FAA repair stations to falsify forms, giving the illusion that the manufactured parts had been approved by the FAA and were suitable for installation on an aircraft.  The investigation revealed that McCain falsified 113 FAA forms certifying that substandard aircraft parts were airworthy and ready for return to service.  McCain's customers included BOEING, Commercial Air Carriers, and other aviation companies. 

This investigation was conducted jointly with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and with FAA providing technical assistance.