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California Aircraft Parts Brokerage and Manager are Convicted of Conspiracy and Fraud Involving Misrepresentation of Aircraft Parts

On July 10, following a two-week trial, Standby Parts, Inc. (Standby) an El Segundo, CA aircraft parts brokerage and Herik Johansen, its operator/manager were found guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on felony charges of conspiracy and fraud involving aircraft parts. Our investigation found that Johansen conspired with others, including Daniel L. Booker, a former FAA Designated Airworthiness Representative and George Thompson, owner of Total Airframe and Turbine Company (TATCO), a former FAA-certificated repair station, in obtaining FAA, airworthiness tags for various aircraft parts (e.g., engine bolts and a tail skid actuator) indicating that the parts were either new or of higher quality than Johansen knew them to be. Johansen then sold the misrepresented parts. Booker and Thompson pled guilty in 2003.

Booker admitted to signing Forms 8130-3 without actually inspecting the parts and Thompson to signing Forms 8130-3 for parts which TATCO was not rated to inspect. None of the affected parts were deemed flight critical, but FAA issued a safety alert on some parts in April 2001, and is considering others. TATCO is no longer in business and Thompson has died. Johansen and Standby are scheduled for sentencing in October 2006; Booker's sentencing is pending. The investigation was conducted jointly with the FBI, with assistance from FAA.