LA man gets prison for repackaging plane parts

AP News
Posted: Nov 09, 2009 10:53 PM

A Los Angeles businessman has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in federal prison for selling uncertified aircraft manufacturing parts that were used to make Boeing 737 airplanes.

Prosecutors say 74-year-old Duane Lepire was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court after pleading guilty in April to fraud for selling commercial-grade rubber gaskets that were not approved for aviation manufacturing.

The U.S. attorney's office says Lepire, the owner of Chatsworth Rubber and Gasket Company in Canoga Park, falsely claimed the parts were certified for use in aircraft manufacturing.

Lepire painted and repackaged the cheaper parts with bogus "certificates of conformance."

The nonconforming O-rings were used to make vibration dampeners that leaked hydraulic fluid, which was a safety hazard but didn't cause any accidents.