Former president of aircraft parts company gets 84 months in prison for fraud
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: "With today's sentence, Stefan Gillier's aircraft parts fraud scheme has been grounded. As the sentence for this extradited defendant shows, those who flee justice will be held accountable for their crimes, no matter how long it takes."
According to the Indictment, documents previously filed in the case, and evidence introduced at trial:
GILLIER was the president and ran the day-to-day business activities of RTF International Inc. ("RTF"), a broker of aircraft parts. RTF began obtaining aircraft parts from Honeywell International, Inc. ("Honeywell") in June 2004. Starting in 2005, RTF began increasing the number of parts it ordered from Honeywell, paying for them by check. RTF paid with checks written in foreign currency and for amounts well above the cost of the parts, which created an apparent credit balance in RTF's favor in Honeywell's accounting system. RTF wrote approximately $17 million worth of checks to Honeywell but stopped payment on approximately $15 million worth of checks.
In particular, GILLIER signed checks to Honeywell on behalf of RTF but repeatedly caused stop payment orders to be placed after Honeywell shipped the parts to RTF. When questioned by Honeywell's employees about these stop payment orders, GILLIER, using the alias "Roland Van Gorp," falsely represented that the stop payment orders were the result of a misunderstanding with the bank and that he would check with RTF's finance department. In fact, as GILLIER knew, he had issued the stop payment orders, and RTF did not have a finance department.
In total, GILLIER was able to obtain over $6 million worth of aircraft parts from Honeywell without paying for the parts.
In June 2006, Honeywell executed a civil attachment order and recovered some of the aircraft parts stolen by GILLIER. Following the execution of the civil attachment order by Honeywell, GILLIER caused various large transfers of fraud proceeds into bank accounts controlled by him, his relatives, and a co-conspirator ("CC-1"). The day after making those transfers, on June 15, 2006, GILLIER left the United States for Canada.
After Honeywell discovered that it was being victimized by RTF, GILLIER and CC-1 continued their fraud scheme through a new corporate entity, "UN Air Services, Inc." ("UAS") (which had no relation to the United Nations). In 2006, UAS began obtaining aircraft parts from Pratt & Whitney Component Solutions, Inc. ("Pratt & Whitney"). Like RTF, UAS began stopping payment on checks it had written to Pratt & Whitney for the aircraft parts after Pratt & Whitney delivered the aircraft parts to UAS.
GILLIER was arrested and extradited from Italy in 2019.
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In addition to the prison sentence, GILLIER, 49, a citizen of Belgium, was sentenced to three years of supervised release.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service.
The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office's Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dina McLeod, Micah F. Fergenson, and Michael Neff are in charge of the prosecution.
Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number:
Updated March 9, 2023
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