Two face aircraft fraud trial

The Detroit News (Michigan)

August 15, 2005 Monday

SECTION: METRO; Pg. 1B

Former Dearborn Heights firm's employees are accused of falsifying test results for parts.

BYLINE: David Shepardson

DEARBORN HEIGHTS -- Two Wayne County men accused of falsifying test results for a key component of the troubled V-22 Osprey aircraft will stand trial in Detroit, a federal judge has ruled.

In June, a federal grand jury in Philadelphia indicted two former employees of Dearborn Heights-based Anco-Tech Inc., accusing them of 20 felony counts of mail fraud, conspiracy and aircraft parts fraud.

Andrew Maliszewski, 53, of Dearborn Heights and his brother Alan Maliszewski, 41, of Livonia worked at Anco-Tech from 1994 until 2000. The company supplied titanium tubes for the V-22 Osprey used by the Marine Corps.

"Tests were skipped, protocols were ignored, inspection procedures were not followed, documentation was either incomplete or falsified, and all of this was not only tolerated but sanctioned and condoned by the company," U.S. Attorney Patrick L. Meehan said in a statement. "The conduct of these defendants undermined that effort and created needless risk for the men and women of our armed forces."

In August 2002, Anco-Tech-built tubing failed in the backup brake system of a V-22 during a test conducted by one of the main contractors, Boeing Corp. Additional tests showed that 25 percent of tubes failed. In March 2003, as a result of the tests, the Marines grounded the entire V-22 fleet and removed all Anco-Tech tubing at a cost of more than $4 million, the Justice Department said.

The Justice Department said a main goal of the two-year investigation was to determine if the tubes were a factor in two aircraft crashes in 2000 that killed 23 Marines. An independent Justice Department expert said the tubes were not to blame for the crashes.

The indictment also names Anco-Tech. The government is seeking up to $7.25 million in fines though the company declared bankruptcy and closed in 2002. U.S. District Judge Gene Pratter said in an Aug. 5 ruling that the case was improperly filed in Philadelphia and ordered it transferred to Detroit. No date has been set for the trial.

Allen M. Wolf, a Lake Orion lawyer for Andrew Maliszewski, asked to move the case to Detroit. Since the men were indicted, both have lost their jobs, Wolf said.

"Andy did nothing wrong. He appears to be a scapegoat for the government in light of the many problems that the V-22 Osprey has had," Wolf said. "He adamantly denies ever falsifying any test results. The bottom line is he's done nothing wrong."

Two former Anco-Tech quality assurance supervisors have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution.