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Employee of Aerospace Metals Company Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Test Results

On January 19, Russell B. Cohen, former sales manager for M&M International Aerospace Metals (M&M) of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, pleaded guilty in U. S. District Court in Miami, Florida, to one count each of conspiracy and making a false statement. Cohen conspired with the owners and several employees of M&M to alter test certificates from metals-testing laboratories and certificates of compliance from metal distributors when test results and specifications listed on these documents did not conform to the customers' metal specifications and purchase order requirements.

M&M supplied raw metals to the aerospace community, including NASA, the United Space Alliance (NASA's contractor for the space shuttle fleet), Teledyne Brown Engineering, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. The materials were then used by M&M customers in various aerospace grade aluminum and stainless steel plates, pipes, flat stock, and bars. While we could not positively trace non-conforming materials to their final end users, FAA issued an unapproved parts notification in December 2005 to aircraft owners, operators, maintenance organizations, manufacturers, and parts suppliers and distributors regarding raw metal sold with altered material certification. Sentencing is set for April 20. This investigation was conducted with the Department of Energy OIG, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration OIG, the Defense Criminal Investigation Service and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.