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Former FAA Employee Pleads Guilty To Falsifying Documents and Accepting Bribe

On February 2, 2023, Michael Puehler pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to falsifying records and receiving an illegal gratuity by a public official. Beginning in at least October 2014 and continuing through at least April 2019, Puehler impeded, obstructed, and influenced the Department’s ability to properly assess individuals seeking renewal and reinstatement of their pilot certifications. Specifically, in September 2018, Puehler falsified an airman certificate and rating application for a flight instructor in exchange for payment while knowing the instructor did not satisfactorily complete any renewal requirements.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).