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Florida Pilot Pleads Guilty to Fraud Relating to his Airman Application and Immigration Status

On April 29, 2008, Sebastian Esteban Roca pled guilty in U.S. District Court, Miami, Florida, to a four–count indictment charging falsification of his immigration status, and airman and medical forms. The investigation revealed that Mr. Roca, a pilot employed by Spirit Airlines, had made false statements on his airman and medical forms regarding his immigration status. Mr. Roca, born in Argentina, had falsely claimed to be born in Havana, Cuba, in order to become a permanent resident in the United States. Beginning in 2002, Mr. Roca fraudulently misrepresented his citizenship and place of birth on his airman and medical forms. The latest incident occurred in 2007 for an Airbus 320–type rating which allowed him to maintain employment with Spirit Airlines as a pilot. Sentencing for Mr. Roca is scheduled for June 10, 2008. The investigation was conducted jointly with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Federal Aviation Administration.