March 6, 2018
Florida Pilot Convicted for Fraud Schemes Against FAA
On March 6, 2018, Robert Charles Jones Brady, owner of Beach Aviation (Beach), pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, West Palm Beach, Florida, to operating an aircraft without an airman's certificate, wire fraud, and falsification of records in a Federal investigation. The investigation revealed that Brady, through Beach, received compensation for numerous charter flights and flight instruction services without authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). All of his legitimate FAA certificates were revoked in 2016, but he continued to operate aircraft.
The investigation revealed Brady used a fleet of single-, multi-, and jet-engine aircraft in multiple schemes to defraud the Government, airmen, and the flying public. He fraudulently endorsed student pilot logbooks as belonging to FAA Certified Flight Instructors (CFI), and directed Beach employees to do the same, although Brady and many of his flight instructors were not CFIs. Brady even hired unqualified foreign nationals to act as CFIs. Many student pilots later learned that FAA would not honor their training hours.
The investigation also revealed that Brady advertised domestic and international charter flights, even though he and Beach did not have FAA authorization to engage as a commercial carrier for hire. Agents identified at least 700 charter flights in which passengers paid for travel to and from South Florida, the Bahamas, and other domestic locations. In addition, Brady piloted many of the commercial flights in an aircraft he was not certified to fly.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with FAA’s assistance.