Investigations

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Former Employee of a Florida Aerospace Metals Supplier Sentenced for False Statements

On December 6, Ella B. Hernandez, a former employee of M&M International Aerospace Metals, Inc. (M&M), Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was sentenced to 90 days home detention and 24 months probation by a U.S. District Court judge in Miami, Florida, after pleading guilty to one count of making false statements. M&M, whose owners pleaded guilty in September and are awaiting sentencing, supplied raw metals to numerous aerospace contractors, the military and other government agencies. Our investigation disclosed that M&M employees routinely changed specifications for metals received from suppliers to match customer requirements and created false test reports to conceal the true characteristics and specifications of these metals. Subsequent use of the non-conforming and sub-standard metals in aviation-related products could pose a safety risk. Although the investigation did not identify any failures, some of the questionable metals had been intended for use in the International Space Station. M&M went out of business during the course of the investigation. This was a joint investigation conducted by the DOT, Energy and NASA OIGs, the Defense Criminal Investigation Service, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.