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South Florida Commercial Pilot Sentenced for the False Registration of Numerous Aircraft

On April 1, 2016, Agustin Maiz was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, to 1 day in prison, 1 year of supervised release and 100 hours of community service for falsely registering numerous aircraft with FAA. The court ordered further special conditions, including a full financial disclosure of all business and personal finances, and submission to reasonable searches by U.S. Probation. Maiz was indicted in September 2015 for falsely registering aircraft and pleaded guilty to the charges in January 2016.

This investigation was based on information received from the DEA, alleging that Maiz was filing numerous fraudulent aircraft registrations in furtherance of illicit activities associated with foreign criminal organizations. Maiz is the owner of Pilotmec Aircraft Services Inc. located in Pembroke Pines, FL. The investigation revealed that he falsely registered aircraft for foreign buyers from Bolivia, Paraguay, Venezuela and Brazil and that he allowed his clients to utilize his bank account to move money to purchase the aircraft from U.S. sellers.

By falsely registering aircraft, Maiz impeded FAA’s safety mandate by thwarting their ability to track the true whereabouts and ownership of aircraft.  In addition, Maiz effectively acted as a straw buyer for these foreign organizations, which intended for these aircraft to be flown out of the United States under the guise of domestic ownership, thereby circumventing FAA registration requirements.

DOT-OIG conducted this investigation jointly with the DEA and with assistance from FAA.