South Florida Man Receives 7-Year Sentence for Multiple Fraud Schemes Against FAA
On May 16, 2018, Robert Charles Jones Brady, owner of Beach Aviation, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, West Palm Beach, Florida, to 7 years’ incarceration, 3 years’ supervised release, and a $400 special assessment fee for operating an aircraft without an airman’s certificate, wire fraud, and falsification of records in a Federal investigation.
In 2016, FAA revoked Brady’s pilot certificates; yet he continued to operate aircraft and was involved in multiple schemes to defraud the Government, airmen, and the flying public using a fleet of single-engine, multi-engine, and jet engine aircraft. Brady defrauded student pilots—who had paid significant sums of money to log flight instruction hours so they could obtain pilot certifications—by directing Beach Aviation employees to fraudulently endorse student pilot logbooks as if they were FAA-certified flight instructors (CFI). Neither Brady, who also endorsed the logbooks, nor many of his flight instructors were CFIs. Brady also hired unqualified foreign nationals to act as CFIs. Many student pilots learned only later that FAA would not honor their training hours for certification.
Through Beach Aviation, Brady used social media to advertise domestic and international charter flights, although neither he nor his company received FAA authorization to engage as a commercial carrier for hire. FAA approval includes strict pilot certification, aircraft maintenance, and regulatory compliance oversight conducted by the Agency. The investigation identified 700 discount charter flights for which passengers paid for travel to the Bahamas, South Florida, and other domestic locations. Brady piloted many of the commercial flights in a turbojet-powered Eclipse 500 aircraft, which he was not certified to fly or transport commercial passengers.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with FAA’s assistance.