Although you don’t hear of it too often, pilots can and do get convicted of felonies for making false statements on medical and airman applications, and also for illegal conduct in connection with their operation of an aircraft. In this case, a student pilot was convicted of a felony and sentenced to five months in jail, five months home confinement, and three years supervised release for falsifying an FAA application for a student pilot license and accompanying airman medical certificate by failing to disclose a prior drug conviction.
The Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (“DOT OIG”) investigates and prosecutes these types of cases. The FAA assists by providing testimony in the trial and sentencing phases of the case on implications for aviation safety from the charged offenses. For more information regarding cases that have been or are being prosecuted by the DOT OIG you can review a list on their website here.