Federal authorities said Andrew Kent Anderson, 57, endangered the country's airspace with falsified aircraft modification certifications he provided to a client, the Dubai government.
Anderson was arraigned Tuesday before United States Magistrate Judge Walter E. Johnson in Rome.
According to U.S. Attorney Sally Q. Yates, the indictment and information presented in court, Anderson was an aviation consultant hired to assist clients in securing Federal Aviation Administration approval for modifications those clients planned for several airplanes, including a Boeing 747 and two Avro jets.
"The Federal Aviation Administration works diligently to ensure the safety of this country's airspace, and does so, in part, by ensuring that modifications to aircraft are certified as safe," Yates said in a press release. "Andrew Anderson is charged with bypassing the certification process by providing false and fraudulent FAA certifications to his clients who sought his assistance with obtaining legitimate FAA certifications."
The planes are owned and operated by Dubai Air Wing, which is an agency of the country's government. The indictment charges that Anderson provided his clients and DAW officials with certificates for the planes purportedly issued by the FAA but which, in fact, were never issued by that agency.
Anderson is alleged to have defrauded his clients of more than $630,000, fees he collected for assisting with the documents between April 2008 and June of last year.
Anderson was indicted Dec. 20 by a federal grand jury and charged with nine counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, with a five-year maximum prison sentence. He could be fined up to $250,000 for each of the 10 counts.
Anderson is accused of conspiring with Tod Anderson, 54, of Portage, Mich., who pleaded guilty Dec. 14 to conspiring to commit wire fraud in relation to the certificates provided for the Boeing 747 aircraft. Scheduled to be sentenced next month, Tod Anderson could get five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Robert L. Vining Jr. on Feb. 23, at 10 a.m. It is not known if the two men are related.
U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General special agents investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher C. Bly is prosecuting it.