Aircraft repair company exec pleads guilty

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Associated Press

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 31 at 12:01 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — An executive at a California airplane repair company has pleaded guilty to endangering aircraft by cutting corners with replacement parts not certified by regulators.

The U.S. attorney in Sacramento said Tuesday that Jerry Edward Kuwata, of Granite Bay, admitted to using uncertified parts and falsely certifying that the Federal Aviation Administration approved their use in aircraft repair.

Kuwata was the operations manager at Lincoln-based WECO Aerospace Systems Inc.

Six other company executives and supervisors also have been indicted. Michael Maupin and Anthony Zito each pleaded guilty to similar charges. Four others have pleaded not guilty.

Kuwata faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he's sentenced. A sentencing date hasn't been scheduled.

Investigators say they found no evidence of any accident caused by the allegedly fraudulent repairs.

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