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Two Former Employees of Arizona Aircraft Parts Company Plead Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Fraud

Joseph Patrick Smith III and Thomas Edward Smith, formerly employed at Smyth Aerospace Manufacturing, Ltd. (SAML), pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Phoenix for conspiracy to commit aircraft parts fraud. SAML (with offices in Phoenix, Arizona and Shannon, Ireland) purchased used aircraft parts, refurbished them, and then resold the parts as either certified new manufacturers’ equipment or unused government surplus. The parts involved (e.g., aircraft lever bearing assemblies) were designed for use on U.S. Air Force T-37 and T-38 jet trainer aircraft, NASA fleet aircraft, and commercial Lear jets. Sentencing for both employees is scheduled for June 20, 2005. SAML is no longer in business. Extradition proceedings have been initiated with the Irish government to return the firm’s prior owner, Joseph P. Smith, Jr., who was indicted in February 2004. The case was investigated jointly with the FBI, DCIS, AF-OSI, and NASA-OIG, with assistance from FAA.