December 12, 2018
Vice President of South Florida Aircraft Repair Facility Sentenced for Conspiracy To Bribe FAA Inspector
On December 12, 2018, Patricia Suarez, vice president of Avcom Avionics & Instruments (Avcom), was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Miami, Florida, to 5 years’ probation with 240 days of electronic monitoring; $711,940.46 in restitution—jointly with co-conspirator Rolando Suarez; a $100 special assessment; and 200 hours community service for conspiracy to bribe an official at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Patricia Suarez pleaded guilty on September 11, 2018, for conspiring to bribe former FAA aviation safety inspector Manuel Fernandez.
Beginning around October 2011 and continuing through January 2012, she and her former spouse, Avcom owner Rolando Suarez, gave Fernandez cash, credit cards, airline tickets, and other things of value. Fernandez accepted these items in exchange for using his official capacity to help Avcom secure FAA’s approval for repairs of sophisticated avionics equipment and commercial cockpit windows.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the FBI.