March 20, 2018
Florida Aircraft Mechanic and Pilot Sentenced for Their Role in an Aircraft Parts Fraud Scheme
On March 20, 2018, Ulpiano Luis Amy and James Michael Schiller were sentenced in U.S. District Court, West Palm Beach, Florida, for their roles in a conspiracy to commit aircraft parts fraud and for Amy’s role in the false registration of an aircraft.
Amy was sentenced to 6 months’ incarceration, 3 years’ probation, and 50 hours of community service. The court further mandated that he surrender his FAA certificates and transfer his personally owned airplane to an aviation school within 30 days. Schiller was sentenced to 2 years’ probation and 50 hours of community service, and also had to surrender his FAA certificates.
Schiller, an FAA-certificated airframe and powerplant 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 he’d 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 he 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 FAA’s assistance.