Friday, May 20, 2016

Irvine, California, man indicted for flying jets without pilot's license

An Irvine man was indicted Thursday for flying private jets without being certified to do so.

Arnold Gerald Leto III, 36, was indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of piloting a plane without a license, according to court documents.

Leto piloted a twin engine Falcon 10 turbojet from Van Nuys Airport to Las Vegas on April 8 and a Cessna Citation turbojet on Jan. 30, 2015 from Santa Monica to Phoenix, the indictment said.

Prosecutors believe Leto piloted the Falcon 10 aircraft with about 8 people on board without the required co-pilot and had not been certified to operate the plane.

Leto, president of Irvine-based Aviation Financial Services Inc., had his pilot’s license revoked in January. It was unclear why.

Furthermore, he did not have a turbo-jet rating required to fly the planes.

“The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) requires pilots to be rated and trained for that plane (Falcon 10),” Federal prosecutor Mark Williams said when Leto was charged in April. “He was taking a large amount of passengers and charging significant amounts of money to do so.”

Calls and email to Leto’s attorney were not immediately returned.

He faces up to six years in federal prison.

Original article can be found here:

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