SAN FRANCISCO – Nicholas King Beyer was convicted in United States District Court today of making false statements to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on pilot medical certification forms, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, Special Agent in Charge James Wahleithner; and U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General Regional Acting Special Agent in Charge Susan Ocampo. The verdict was handed down today following a half-day bench trial before the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Judge.
Judge Breyer found Beyer, 34, of Discovery Bay, Calif., guilty on two counts of making false statements to the FAA, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2), and two counts of falsifying, concealing, or covering up material facts by trick, scheme, or device, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(1).
Evidence at trial showed that Beyer made false statements on applications for an airman medical certificate, FAA Form 8500-8, which he submitted to the FAA in 2016, and again in 2018. The FAA’s airman medical certificate process is the mechanism by which the FAA evaluates whether pilots are mentally and physically fit to fly. The evidence showed that Beyer falsely stated on both of his Form 8500-8s that he had never been diagnosed with, did not have, and had never had a mental disorder of any sort; when in fact Beyer had been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in 2016. The evidence also showed that Beyer falsely stated on the forms that he was only receiving disability benefits for knee and back injuries from the VA, when he was also receiving disability benefits for Major Depressive Disorder.
A federal grand jury indicted Beyer on August 23, 2018, charging him with two counts of making false statements to the FAA, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2), and two counts of falsifying, concealing, or covering up material facts by trick, scheme, or device, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(1). Judge Breyer convicted Beyer on all four counts.
Judge Breyer scheduled the defendant’s sentencing hearing for April 22, 2020.
Beyer faces maximum statutory penalties of five (5) years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution for each violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2) and each violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(1). However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Shepard and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Ward are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Hector Lopez. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General and the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General.