header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather


 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 23
1986 - COC board votes to allow Argentine cliff swallows to nest forever on sides of buildings [story]
swallows


A Saugus man is among six defendants charged by a federal grand jury with conspiracy and fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate commerce and mail fraud.

Anthony Vincent Zito, 47, along with Jerry Edward Kuwata, 60, and Douglas Arthur Johnson, 52, of Granite Bay; Michael Dennis Maupin, 58, or Arbuckle; Scott Hamilton Durham, 39, of Roseville and Christopher Warren MacQueen, 53, of Lincoln, were named in the 36-count indictment handed down by the court.

The defendants are all former executives and supervisors at WECO Aerospace Systems, Inc., an FAA-certified air repair station based in Lincoln.

The FAA regulates air travel and publishes regulations that FAA-certified repair stations are required to follow. These regulations include the use of parts that are approved for repairs, as well as tests and inspections that repair stations are required to conduct before a repaired part can be returned and reinstalled into an aircraft.

According to its repair station certificate, WECO was permitted to repair, among other items, rotables and converters. Rotables are generally parts that convert a mechanical drive into electrical output such as generators, alternators and rotary and linear actuators. Converters are components that supply electrical power to the systems on an aircraft that need it. In repairing either of these types of parts, a certified repair station is required to use FAA-approved parts. According to the indictment, the defendants regularly directed WECO technicians to use unapproved parts in repairs. On one occasion, Maupin and MacQueen allegedly used a paper clip instead of an approved part to complete a repair, and then returned that part to the customer after certifying that the repair had been done properly.

In addition, during the repair of an aircraft part, a certified repair station is required to comply with the manufacturer’s Component Maintenance Manual (CMM), a step-by-step guide for conducting a proper repair of the part that is prepared by the manufacturer and approved by the FAA. The CMM contains the steps that a repair shop must take to fix a part, as well as the tests and inspections that must be done before the part can be returned to service. The indictment alleges that the defendants regularly failed to follow the manufacturer’s CMMs and did not even possess the equipment needed to perform many of the tests required by the CMMs. According to the indictment, the defendants nonetheless performed repairs or directed WECO technicians to perform repairs of parts and returned those parts to customers, falsely certifying for each one that the part had been repaired in accordance with FAA regulations.

There have been no known instances in which a fraudulent WECO repair resulted in an aircraft accident. Upon learning of the allegations, the FAA issued an emergency order suspending WECO’s repair station certificate. In addition, since finalizing its purchase of WECO in 2008, Gulfstream has fully cooperated with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of this case. The conduct alleged in the indictment occurred prior to Gulfstream’s acquisition of WECO and non of the defendants is currently employed at WECO.

“The indictment alleges that these defendants knowingly cut corners in repairing aircraft parts and concealed the fact that they were not complying with FAA regulations. While it is fortunate that there are not aircraft crashes known to be associated with faulty repairs conducted by these defendants, their alleged conduct needlessly took risks with the safety of persons who used aircraft that they repaired,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner. “FAA regulations are intended to ensure the safety of air travel and those who disregard them in order to increase profits should face serious consequences.”

Herb Brown, Special Agent in Charge of the Sacramento FBI, said: “It is appalling that these defendants would put financial gain and reward ahead of the safety and well-being of the many people who could have fallen in harm’s way as a result of these fraudulently repaired airplane parts. Everyone that boards or operates an aircraft, as well as the communities that aircraft fly over, should have peace of mind that all safety regulations and guidelines have been followed. The FBI will continue to work with our partners to ensure that aircraft parts companies are properly supplying approved aircraft parts for the safety of all.”

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty for the conspiracy to commit fraud and fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate commerce, of 15 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 and three years of supervised release. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of mail fraud is 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and a three-year term of supervised release.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Hello There. I discovered your blog the use of msn. That is
    an extremely neatly written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark
    it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the
    post. I will definitely return.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024
Hart District High Schools Recognized Best in Nation
Six comprehensive high schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District which includes Canyon, Golden Valley, Hart, Saugus, Valencia and West Ranch have been ranked among the top public high schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024
COC Offers Four Summer Sessions for Flexible Learning Options
College of the Canyons will offer four summer sessions running from June 3 through Aug. 17, giving students a variety of options in both class format and scheduling designed to help them achieve their educational goals, from launching a new career to transferring to a four-year university.
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024
Wilk’s Illegal Dumping Bill Approved by Committee
California State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced his measure to combat illegal dumping, by increasing penalties and closing a loophole which has enabled the problem for years, was approved in the Senate Public Safety Committee.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger issued a statement in support of the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Officer’s presentation of a $45.4 billion budget for the forthcoming 2024-25 fiscal year.
Kathryn Barger | Statement in Support of $45.4B County Budget
In a celebration held Tuesday, April 23 at the Port of Barcelona, award-winning actress and performer Hannah Waddingham officially welcomed the newest and most innovative Princess Cruises ship, Sun Princess, serving as godmother during a star-studded naming ceremony.
Hannah Waddingham Officially Christens Sun Princess
Six comprehensive high schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District which includes Canyon, Golden Valley, Hart, Saugus, Valencia and West Ranch have been ranked among the top public high schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Hart District High Schools Recognized Best in Nation
College of the Canyons will offer four summer sessions running from June 3 through Aug. 17, giving students a variety of options in both class format and scheduling designed to help them achieve their educational goals, from launching a new career to transferring to a four-year university.
COC Offers Four Summer Sessions for Flexible Learning Options
California State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced his measure to combat illegal dumping, by increasing penalties and closing a loophole which has enabled the problem for years, was approved in the Senate Public Safety Committee.
Wilk’s Illegal Dumping Bill Approved by Committee
Super Jazz at the Ranch, a daylong jazz festival hosted by West Ranch High School, is happening Saturday, May 18. Music will fill the air as performers from throughout the region showcase their talents.
May 18: Super Jazz Festival at West Ranch High School
California State Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, has presented The Healthy Homework Act (AB 2999) to the Assembly Education Committee.
Schiavo Presents Healthy Homework Act to Prioritize Mental, Physical Health
The city of Santa Clarita has notified the public that the playground at West Creek Park, 24247 Village Circle Drive, Valencia, CA 91354, is currently closed for repairs on the rubberized surface.
West Creek Park Playground Closed for Repairs
The Santa Clarita Valley Media Collaborative invites local creatives, media industry professionals, students, parents, teachers and others to celebrate the next generation of media makers participating in the inaugural NextGen MediaMakers Festival on Saturday, May 18 from 2-5 p.m. at the Canyon Country Community Center.
May 18: NextGen MediaMakers Festival Invites Creatives, Students, Experts to Celebrate Media
1986 - COC board votes to allow Argentine cliff swallows to nest forever on sides of buildings [story]
swallows
As Volunteer Appreciation Week approaches, the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to all its dedicated volunteers who tirelessly contribute to DACC's mission of advancing the well-being of animals and people in the County.
DACC Pays Recognition to Volunteers
The Canyon Country Farmers Market will be celebrating their two-year anniversary Wednesday, April 24.
April 24: Canyon Country Farmer’s Market Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary
The Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Auxiliary presented a $35,000 check Monday to the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation for the foundation’s Patient Tower Capital Campaign.
Henry Mayo Auxiliary Fulfills $600K Patient Tower Pledge
The Acton/Agua Dulce Arts Council has announced a call for entries for "Creature Feature," a juried art exhibition, with a theme of any living creature.
Entries Needed for ‘Creature Feature’ Art Show
The Acton/Agua Dulce Arts Council has announced a call for entries for a juried exhibit open to all photographers, both professional and amateur.
Acton/Agua Dulce Arts Council Announces Call for Photographers
Recently I had the opportunity, along with spcaLA President Madeline Bernstein and Inland Valley Humane Society & SPCA President Nikole Bresciani, to meet with NBC 4 reporter Kathy Vara to discuss the current challenges facing animal sheltering organizations.
Marcia Mayeda | Current Challenges in Animal Sheltering
As city manager for 12 years now and a longtime resident of Santa Clarita, I am always proud to see how our community continues to grow.
Ken Striplin | Visit Skyline Ranch Park – Santa Clarita’s Newest Amenity
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office released the list of six productions currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Monday, April 22 - Sunday, April 28.
Filming in Santa Clarita Includes Six Productions
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is recognizing its valued volunteers during National Volunteer Week April 21-27.
Henry Mayo Celebrating National Volunteer Week
The regular meeting of the Saugus Union School District Governing Board will take place Tuesday, April 23, with closed session beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed immediately by public session at 6:30 p.m.
April 23: Saugus Union to Discuss 2023/24 Personnel Report
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will hold a self-evaluation workshop Wednesday, April 24, beginning at 2 p.m.
April 24: COC Board of Trustees’ Self-Evaluation Workshop
A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy, who was severely injured in October after an explosion and fire at a Pitchess Detention Center mobile shooting range, died Saturday, LASD announced Sunday.
LASD Deputy Dies Months After Pitchess Shooting Range Explosion
SCVNews.com