Propeller Overhauler Convicted of Fraud

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An Arkansas man who runs Mena Aircraft Propellers Inc. in Mena, Ark., has been convicted of fraud and making false statements concerning aircraft parts in connection with activities at his former business, Millennium Propeller Systems Inc. at Lancaster Airport near Dallas. According to bizjournals.com, John Wentzell Downs lost the FAA certification for his former business but kept on repairing and rebuilding propellers without letting customers know he was no longer certified. Downs also backdated maintenance records before he lost his FAA qualifications, although he testified that he didn't do that intentionally. One customer was billed $2,250 for work Downs was not legally qualified to perform.

Downs will be sentenced on Sept. 21 and could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He started Mena Aircraft Propellers in August 2006, but it's not known if that shop has proper certification. The report did not specify why Downs lost certification for his former business.