Working with a government computer system that allows federal agencies to trade between them their resources, a field technician with the FAA in San Diego allegedly took home some 215 government owned items, including a Cessna 210. Court papers made available Thursday indicate investigators are still trying to discern how widespread the problem was. “There is a great concern about who knew what about this” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jennings told The Associated Press, “about whether it’s something that was systemic.” The employee is said to have given the aircraft to his half-brother (along with a yacht that the relative took to Canada, where it remains) who even managed to get insurance for the government-owned aircraft. With that insurance, the relative received a payment of $45,000 after the aircraft was damaged in a 2007 storm while parked at an airport in Louisiana. Prosecutors allege the 210 was obtained from the Forest Service, a 44-foot Navy yacht from the ROTC, another boat previously used by the Border Patrol, a Chevrolet K2500 truck from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration … and the list goes on.
Investigators, tipped off by another employee, allowed the criminal activity to continue as they built their case, but questions still remain as to how the alleged offender physically acquired the items. “It’s not like UPS shows up with a boat on your doorstep,” said Jennings.