Two Santa Rosa County Men Plead Guilty to Fraud Relating to Air Force Helicopter Contracts
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Ryan Romero, 51, of Gulf Breeze, Florida, and Adam W. Fair, 42, of Navarre, Florida, pled guilty yesterday and Wednesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services fraud. The guilty pleas were announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Evidence proffered as part of the plea showed the following: Between 2010 and 2012, “M.I.S.” and his company Simplex Corporation, were awarded contracts with the United States Air Force at Hurlburt Field Air Force Base to provide helicopters and parts. During the same period, defense contractors and subcontractors were awarded contracts with the Air Force to provide maintenance work on those helicopters. Romero was employed as maintenance manager and Fair was employed as a maintenance superintendent for one or more of these companies.
Fair and Romero used their positions to obtain kick-backs in exchange for giving favorable treatment to M.I.S. and Simplex Corporation. The favorable treatment included assisting M.I.S. in assembling and disassembling helicopters using defense contract company employees to complete the work without the company being compensated for this work. In exchange, Romero received approximately $30,000, and Fair received approximately $20,000.
The plea documents also reflect that in exchange for monthly payments of $6,000 from M.I.S., Romero and Fair agreed to provide favorable maintenance inspection reports to the Air Force on helicopters that M.I.S. and Simplex Corporation supplied. In exchange for agreeing to provide favorable reports, Romero and Fair received approximately $154,350 in kick-backs from M.I.S.
The defendants each face a maximum of 20 years in prison. The sentencing hearings are scheduled on July 18, 2018, for Fair, and on August 2, 2018, for Romero at the United States Courthouse in Pensacola.
The case was investigated by the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Ryan Love.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.