South Florida Repair Station Owner Pleads Guilty To Aircraft Parts Fraud
On March 24, 2010, Jorge Cascante owner and operator of CAS HONEYCOMB, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Repair Station, pled guilty in U.S. District Court, Miami, Florida, to a one count Information charging him with aircraft parts fraud involving the manufacturing of aircraft panel assemblies and identifying them with Boeing parts numbers when in fact, he did not have the authority to do so.
The DOT Office of Inspector General initiated an investigation based on information obtained from an anonymous complaint alleging that a conspiracy existed in which companies who were not approved by FAA or the Department of Defense (DoD), had manufactured aircraft parts for military and civilian aircraft. In most cases, these manufacturers would not sell directly to the United States Air Force (USAF), but instead sold to various brokers or authorized DoD contractors, who conspired with them to sell the substandard aircraft parts to the USAF. In cases where the customer required supporting FAA authentication documents, brokers would further conspire with certain FAA repair stations to falsify FAA forms, giving the illusion that the manufactured parts had been approved by the FAA and were suitable for installation on an aircraft.
This investigation is being conducted jointly with Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security/US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DOT OIG; and with FAA providing technical assistance. Sentencing is scheduled for June 16, 2010.