The president of Hansen Helicopters was convicted of defrauding the government by way of a scheme that involved using uncertified helicopters, mechanics and pilots.
In the District Court of Guam Friday afternoon, Hansen Helicopters President John Walker was found guilty of nearly 100 charges connected to a scheme to defraud the federal government.
The charges included dozens of counts of employing uncertified mechanics and pilots, aircraft parts fraud that led to three deaths, conspiracy to defraud the federal government, money laundering and wire fraud.
The company Hansen Helicopters was also found guilty of similar charges.
A poll of the jurors after the reading confirmed the verdict was unanimous.
The jurors were then excused and District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood discussed with the attorneys how to proceed with the forfeiture of the helicopters. Tydingco-Gatewood mentioned the forfeiture could be determined through another jury trial.
Mack Martin, Walker's attorney, was allowed to confer with his client and the government around 5:30 p.m. before making a determination in another hearing.
Since February. Hansen Helicopters and its president, John Walker, had been on trial on charges related to a conspiracy to defraud the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.
Hansen operated aerial tours and tuna-spotting services for international fishing operations and provided charter services for federal agencies to locations in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands otherwise inaccessible by air.
According to the initial May 2018 indictment, beginning as early as 1997, Walker and Hansen executives Marvin Reed, Kenneth Crowe and Phillip Kapp circumvented U.S. aviation safety regulations to maximize profits at Hansen Helicopters.
Reed, Crowe and Kapp were part of the trial to begin with, but their cases were severed from Walker's case and they will subsequently stand their own trials.
The scheme allegedly involved using uncertified helicopters that were previously destroyed to defraud the federal government.
Hansen and Walker were further accused of using 36 shell companies, some with addresses in Vanuatu, to hide the fraud.
Post files show a Hansen aircraft crashed Sept. 2, 2015, killing pilot Rafael Antonio Cruz Santos, and prosecutors argued nine deaths were caused by Hansen Helicopter crashes.
Hansen later gave FAA logbook entries that falsely indicated certain inspections and maintenance had been performed on the aircraft that crashed.