According to a Report issued by the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (“DOTOIG”), on September 8, 2009 a New York resident pled guilty to a felony charge related to his use and possession of a forged FAA Standard Airworthiness Certificate for a glider aircraft. (The report refers to the individual as a “former pilot” which leads me to believe that the individual’s airman certificates were revoked when the FAA learned of the forged airworthiness certificate).
Apparently the individual installed a fraudulent airworthiness certificate on a newly–acquired glider aircraft that had not been inspected and certified as airworthy by the FAA. The investigation, conducted jointly by the FAA and the DOTOIG, revealed that the glider was flown by the individual and multiple members of a soaring club at least 41 times during the 2008 Labor Day weekend. However, the individual was not arrested until April 28, 2009.
This is another example of how an airman’s fraudulent conduct can expose the airman not only to certificate action (revocation in almost all cases), but also to criminal prosecution. I think the airman’s prosecution, rather than simply the revocation of his airman certificates, resulted from the fact that multiple club members flew the aircraft and, in theory at least, were exposed to potential harm due to the fraudulent airworthiness certificate. Just my guess since the Report doesn’t provide any further factual information. In any event, yet another reason to play it straight with aviation documentation (e.g. logbooks, medical applications etc.).