YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Federal agents last night arrested a 73-year-old Ridgefield aircraft parts supplier from Edgewater on charges of laundering scrapped jet engine parts.
Gideon Vaisman, the sole owner of Tara Technology Corp., is tentatively due for a first appearance in federal court in Newark this afternoon, the government said this morning.
A co-conspirator, Carmine Coviello of Suffern, already has pleaded guilty and could receive leniency in exchange for help in prosecuting Vaisman, who is charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud.
From April 2005 until his arrest, Vaisman orchestrated a scheme to defraud Federal Aviation Administration repair stations, aircraft parts brokers, aircraft parts end-users and others by using phony documents to resell jet engine parts obtained from scrap metal dealers, according to a complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Newark.
Vaisman directed Tara Technology’s general manager, the 61-year-old Coviello, to use his aircraft parts broker and seller company, Shelby Enterprises, to buy vital jet engine parts called “blades” and “vanes” from scrap metal dealers, the complaint says.
Once Coviello did, he “had them cleaned, sanded and inspected at a metal shop to conceal that they had been scrapped and on occasion rejected for repair by an FAA repair station,” the complaint says.
This, it says, was done at Vaisman’s direction and in violation of FAA regulations, which mandate that only FAA-certified repair stations or certified airframe and power plant mechanics can do such work.
Also at Vaisman’s direction, Coviello “conducted sham sales of the illegally altered blades and vanes” to Tara Aviation.
Controlled and financed by Vaisman, Tara Aviation Ltd. is an aircraft parts broker and seller incorporated in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, and located in Guernsey, UK, the government said.
“The sole purpose of these sales, which occurred only on paper, was to generate fraudulent trace paperwork for the parts,” the complaint says, adding that “the parts never left New Jersey.”
“Trace paperwork documents the history of an aircraft part and includes information such as the part’s manufacturer, the aircraft on which the part was used and how it was used,” it says. “The paperwork is also employed in determining whether an aircraft or aircraft part has been subject to severe stress or heat as would occur during a major engine failure, accident or fire.”
Vaisman, Coviello and a sales representative stored the blades and vanes in Tara Technology’s warehouse inventory, “ultimately selling them to aircraft brokers, airlines and others on behalf of Tara Aviation using the fraudulent trace paperwork,” the complaint says.
Coviello is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 12, giving the government plenty of time to build its case.
Federal sentencing guidelines expose Vaisman to up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, if convicted at a trial. It would be far less if he accepts a plea offer from the government.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Transportation,
Office of the Inspector General; IRS-Criminal Investigation; and criminal investigators with his office for the probe and arrest.
Handling the case for the government is Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott B. McBride of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.
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