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Major Airlines Flying Blind With Fake Parts

By Michael DeRienzo, Esq. | Last updated on

Think about the last time you had to take a flight somewhere. You got up early, sat in traffic (or sped because you got up late), and then stood in line for what felt like hours in security.

Then, after finding your terminal and finding the right flight, you get onto a small, cramped flying tube with dozens of strangers for hours on end. And, assuming there were no layoversinjuries, or unruly passengers, you finally get to your destination … just to do it all again when you have to go home.

Who in their right mind would go through this just to get somewhere quicker? For one, the numbers prove that it is significantly safer to fly than drive, and even if you do crash, it is usually not fatal.

But that assumes one thing: the plane was built using real parts.

The Scheme

There is a "middleman" in almost every industry. If you're looking to buy a house, you hire a real estate agent. If you want to invest, you might want to hire a securities broker to help determine the right financial strategy. And if you want to become famous and the industry is not on strike, you might want to hire a talent agent.

Most people don't have the access or ability to go right to the source, so going through a broker makes the most sense. Why would you do something different when fixing an airplane?

That's what some of the world's largest airplane companies did when it came to fixing airplane engines. Unfortunately, it appears that the middleman hired, United Kingdom-based AOG Technics, supplied fake spare parts to third-party engine repair shops using fraudulent certification documents.

The Schemer

Who is behind this scheme to to put the millions of flyers on Delta, United Airlines, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines at risk? You might think that AOG Technics would be this evil corporate mastermind if they had been able to engage in such a widespread, fraudulent plot. But you'd be wrong.

The evidence suggests that AOG Technics might just be one manJose Zamora Yrala, who created fake LinkedIn profiles for various executives using stock photos with made-up back stories.

The Fallout

According to reports, fake parts with forged documents have found their way into at least 126 planes around the world. Luckily, there have been no reported incidents or issues, but that does not mean it's all systems go just yet.

As for Yrala, if the allegations are true, he could be found guilty or liable for committing fraud in countries around the world. Whether he would fly to court would be another question altogether.

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