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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Charter Aircraft Company and Its Owner Plead Guilty to Failing to Report Leases to FAA

OKLAHOMA CITY JAMES PAUL JOHNSON, 66, of Oklahoma City, and Interstate Helicopters, Inc., pleaded guilty today to failing intentionally to report to the Federal Aviation Administration five leases of fixed-wing aircraft from 2014 to 2016, announced Robert J. Troester of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to a misdemeanor information filed on November 2, 2018, Johnson owned and operated Interstate Helicopters, an Oklahoma corporation.  Johnson and Interstate Helicopters induced five individuals to lease Cessna Citation aircraft and operated those aircraft for the lessees.  No one, however, provided the leases for those flights to the FAA, as required by federal law.  The information alleges Johnson and Interstate Helicopters intentionally failed to report leases to the FAA for flights on May 20, 2014; September 25, 2015; January 31, 2016; July 19, 2016; and July 20, 2016.  Each of these failures is a federal misdemeanor.

At a plea hearing this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary M. Purcell, Johnson admitted the allegations in the information on his own behalf and on behalf of Interstate Helicopters.  Their plea agreements provide that Johnson will pay a fine of $5,000 and Interstate Helicopters will pay a fine of $45,000.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Department of Transportation—Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William E. Farrior and Charles W. Brown.

Reference is made to court records for further information. 

Updated November 13, 2018