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U.S. Indicts 2 in Bogus AF Jet Parts Case

Times Staff Writer

A Canoga Park aircraft parts manufacturing firm and two of its top executives have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Oklahoma on charges that they sold counterfeit, defective parts to the U.S. Air Force.

The parts were identified as valve actuators, four-inch-long devices designed to cut off the flow of fuel in emergency situations to prevent explosions on C-141 jet transports.

Execuair Corp. and sales manager David Manhan, 27, each face one count of conspiracy to defraud the military, four counts of mail fraud and two counts of making false statements in connection with the 1983 sale of 56 of the parts to the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base, U.S. Atty. Bill Price in Oklahoma City said. Execuair President Larry Manhan, 51, David Manhan’s father, faces one conspiracy count and four mail fraud counts, Price said.

Price said the valve actuators were “poorly made copies” of a similar device made by Whittaker Controls, a North Hollywood aircraft parts manufacturer and a frequent competitor of Execuair. None of the defective parts was installed, officials said.

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Reached Friday at Execuair’s office in the 8700 block of Remmet Avenue, Larry Manhan said the company has been in business for nearly 30 years and has been awarded hundreds of government contracts to manufacture products from surplus parts it purchases around the world.

Manhan said he believes that Whittaker Controls executives convinced the Air Force and the grand jury to bring action against his company, because “Whittaker doesn’t like the competition that we give them.”

Whittaker Controls President Joe W. Stevens said his firm provided information in response to a government subpoena.


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