Broker Pleads Guilty to Selling Below-Par Aircraft Parts
Amanullah Khan of Brea, CA, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Anaheim, CA, during the third day of his criminal trial to 12 counts of conspiracy and fraud in selling substandard aircraft parts. From 2000 to 2002, Khan operated United Aircraft & Electronics, an aircraft parts brokerage company in Anaheim, where he issued false certifications that claimed a grip assembly, a critical part for some Bell helicopters, was made of steel when it was made of aluminum. Aluminum has a significantly shorter life than steel. A helicopter grip assembly connects the tail rotor blades to the tail, and if a grip failed in flight, the helicopter probably would crash. Khan also sold used aircraft parts that he represented as new. Khan is scheduled to be sentenced on March 15, 2004. This case was jointly investigated by OIG, the FBI, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, with assistance from FAA.