September 23, 2019
Florida Aviation Medical Examiner Convicted and Sentenced for Fraudulently Certifying Pilots
On September 23, 2019, Robert W. Kurrle was convicted and sentenced in U.S. District Court, Orlando, Florida, to 5 years’ probation, $100,000 in fines, $48,818.45 in restitution, and 100 hours of community service. Kurrle—an aviation medical examiner in Port Orange, Florida—was charged with making materially false statements to FAA regarding the medical certification of private and commercial pilots. He pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement on July 1, 2019. Prior to sentencing, Kurrle forfeited $392,805, the money he obtained through his fraudulent scheme.
The investigation revealed that between January 1, 2017, and February 28, 2019, Kurrle performed approximately 3,814 airman medical examinations, earning an estimated $523,740 for his services. He issued medical certificates to private, commercial, and airline transport pilots who did not pass material portions of those examinations. He then transmitted the fraudulent results to FAA, which relied on those results to determine whether the airmen could operate aircraft safely. His criminal activity meant FAA had to reexamine numerous pilots to determine their medical suitability for operating aircraft. Kurrle admitted that approximately 75 percent of his examinations were fraudulent and agreed to forfeit 75 percent of his earnings, or $392,805, and to reimburse FAA $48,818.45 for the costs associated with retesting pilots.
DOT-OIG and the FBI conducted this investigation with substantial assistance from FAA’s Aeromedical Division.