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Investigations

Date

Florida Aircraft Mechanic and Pilot Plead Guilty to Conspiracy To Commit Aircraft Parts Fraud

On December 20 and 21, 2017, James Michael Schiller and Ulpiano Luis Amy, respectively, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, West Palm Beach, Florida, for their roles in a conspiracy to commit aircraft parts fraud.
 
Schiller, an FAA-certificated airframe and power-plant (A&P) mechanic, operated a repair facility in Palm Beach County, Florida. On June 11, 2012, he inspected a twin-engine aircraft and determined that the airframe and components were not airworthy primarily due to severe corrosion. He removed the serviceable components, including the aircraft engines and propellers, and reported to FAA the aircraft had been totally destroyed or scrapped. As a result, FAA deregistered the aircraft.
 
At a later date, Amy, an FAA-certified pilot, obtained engines and propellers from a crashed aircraft and supplied them to Schiller, who installed them on the aircraft previously reported to FAA as scrapped. Schiller concealed these actions by failing to record the installations on the aircraft logbooks as required by FAA regulations.
 
In late 2013, Amy attempted to register the twin-engine aircraft with FAA. Among the documents Amy submitted to the FAA registry was an aircraft bill of sale in which he forged the seller’s signature.
 
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the assistance of FAA.