June 16, 2020
UK Citizen Pleads Guilty To Attempted Aircraft Parts Fraud
On June 16, 2020, Richard Paul Harper, a citizen of the United Kingdom, pleaded guilty to attempted aircraft parts fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
In his plea agreement, Harper admitted that he obtained a helicopter with significant damage to its underbelly. In lieu of necessary, costly repairs, the fuselage of the helicopter was switched with the fuselage of another helicopter that had crashed in New Jersey, and the original data plates were affixed to the fuselage of that helicopter. This data plate switch served to conceal the true history of the helicopter’s damage and repairs. Harper, with intent to defraud, actively marketed and tried to sell the resulting helicopter with switched data plates to an aircraft broker and other unsuspecting purchasers.
DOT-OIG and Homeland Security Investigations are conducting this investigation with substantial assistance from FAA.