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Man Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Inspection Reports for SpaceX Parts

13 Feb 2020, 17:09 UTC
Man Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Inspection Reports for SpaceX Parts
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (US DOJ PR) –U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that James Smalley, 42, of Penn Yan, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to falsifying inspection reports for space parts. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard A. Resnick, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant was a Quality Assurance Engineer at PMI Industries, LLC, a Rochester aerospace precision machining service, specializing in high-tolerance machining for flight critical aerospace parts used to build space flight vehicles by SpaceX and other Department of Defense aerospace contractors.

Smalley began his employment at PMI on March 6, 2017, working on contracts for SpaceX, which developed the Falcon launch vehicle family and the Dragon spacecraft family. Falcon and Dragon both currently deliver payloads into Earth orbit for NASA, the Air Force, other United States government agencies and private industry. SQA Services, Inc. (SQA) is a subcontractor to SpaceX, and provides multiple quality assurance functions within the aerospace and defense manufacturing industries.

In January 2018, an internal audit by SQA Services, Inc. (SQA), at the direction of SpaceX, revealed multiple falsified source inspection ...

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