South Florida FAA Safety Inspector Convicted in Bribery, Fraud Scheme

Jurors in South Florida took four hours to convict an aviation safety inspector of taking part in a bribery and fraud scheme that also included his mother.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami said 42-year-old Manuel R. Fernandez was found guilty Thursday on 21 criminal counts.

Prosecutors say Fernandez served as an inspector with the FAA South Florida Flight Standards District office from 2010 to 2013. At the same time, he was working for a Miami aviation repair company. They say that in exchange for $150,000 in cash plus jewelry and cruises, Fernandez provided the company advance notice of pending FAA inspections and gave them expensive repair manuals.

The Miami Herald reports prosecutors said Fernandez "lined his pockets" at the expense of aviation safety.

He will be sentenced Aug. 28.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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