Former Epic CEO Pleads Not Guilty To Fraud Charges

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The former CEO of Epic Air, Rick Schrameck, has pleaded not guilty to federal fraud charges stemming from the turboprop airplane kit business he operated in Bend, Oregon, The Bulletin reported this week. Prosecutors allege that Schrameck sold kits to customers for $1.4 to $1.8 million each but used their money for other projects as well as a “lavish lifestyle,” defrauding them of more than $14 million, the newspaper reported. A federal indictment from March 2014 alleges he deceived customers about the status of their airplanes and the financial condition of Epic and its related businesses.

Schrameck was arrested in Los Angeles in March and, considered a flight risk by authorities, remains in jail. On March 27, he pleaded not guilty to eight counts of wire fraud, four counts of mail fraud and six counts of money laundering in federal court, according to The Bulletin. Epic went bankrupt and closed its doors in Bend in 2009. During a series of legal entanglements, a group of customers took over the operations in Bend and in March 2012, Engineering LLC of Russia purchased the business. Now called Epic Aircraft, the company is working on certifying a factory-built turboprop, the E1000, based on the 2004 kit design. In early 2014, the company purchased a 204,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Bend that was formerly owned by Columbia and later by Cessna.