Airplane Awarded As Restitution

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An Ottawa, Kan., pilot will have 15 months to think about all the work she and her husband put into building the experimental aircraft that was briefly theirs. Sandra Brandes was sentenced to a year and three months in prison last week for stealing $77,000 from her former employer, Kansas City, Mo. dentist Dr. J. Daniel Fleming. The court was told she used the money to buy the airplane kit, which, from the photo that appeared with the story by KCUR FM, looks like an RV-9A. Now, the dentist might consider getting his pilot certificate because the judge ordered that he be awarded the newly completed aircraft as restitution.

Dan Nelson, the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case, said the airplane offers the dentist a fair chance at getting his money back since it's worth $70,000 to $80,000. "In fact the government pursued this restitution arrangement, which was to say the least unusual because we thought it was the way to maximize how much money the victim would receive back," Nelson told the radio station. Brandes wrote herself checks on the dentist's account while she worked in his office. According to the FAA registry, the aircraft hasn't been registered but N523RV was reserved by a Matthew Brandes, who lives at the same address as Sharon Brandes.