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Colorado Physician Sentenced for Conduct Relating to a Counterfeit FAA Medical Certificate

On May 14, 2015, Dr. David Lawrence Rhodes, also known as Larry Rhodes, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, New Orleans, Louisiana, to twelve months’ probation for conduct related to the presentation of a fraudulent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate.  In April 2014, 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 entered 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.  

We are conducting this investigation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the FAA.