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Colorado Physician Pleads Guilty to Use of a Fraudulent FAA Pilot’s Medical Certificate

On January 28, 2015, Dr. David Lawrence Rhodes, also known as Larry Rhodes, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, New Orleans, Louisiana, to conduct related to the presentation of a fraudulent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman medical certificate. Rhodes presented the certificate to an agent of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) during a pilot compliance check at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans. He also pleaded guilty to entering the secure areas of the airport under false pretenses when he piloted an aircraft without a valid FAA license. 

Prior to presenting the fraudulent document, Rhodes acted as the Pilot in Command of a Mooney M20B (a propeller driven general aviation airplane), which an FAA inspector later determined as unsafe for continued flight. The investigation revealed that Rhodes' authentic FAA medical certificate was last issued on October 13, 2005, and expired on October 31, 2007. The medical certificate Rhodes presented to the CBP agent had a fraudulent issue date of June 14, 2013.