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New York Man Pleads Guilty to Using False Identities to Pilot Helicopters

On July 31, 2014, John Michael Dial, Skaneateles, New York, pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft in U.S. District Court, Sacramento, California. Dial was previously indicted for making false statements and identity theft for using false identities to obtain employment as a helicopter pilot.

The investigation revealed that from December 16, 2009 to August 4, 2010, Dial was hired as a television news helicopter pilot and operated news helicopters in the San Francisco, California area under a false identity. On March 15, 2012, Dial was hired under his real name to work as a television news helicopter pilot in Sacramento, California. Dial submitted a fraudulent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Temporary Airman Certificate and an FAA Medical Second Class Certificate under his real name. Dial flew for the television station without having a valid pilot certificate. Dial also used the identity of a former co-worker to gain employment as a helicopter pilot

with an air ambulance service in New York and created a fraudulent United States passport using that person's identity. Dial was using false identities for numerous years to pilot aircraft since he did not have a valid pilot certificate under his real name. 

OIG is conducting this investigation with the United States Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Cascade, Idaho and McCall, Idaho Police Departments.