The allegations addressed in this investigation, were that Zerene Aerospace was dealing in fraudulent aircraft parts and allegedly manufacturing aircraft skins, including wing components and control surfaces out of blocks of aluminum for various aircrafts, specifically the U.S. Air Force (USAF) E-3 (military version of the Boeing 707). Also, Zerene was allegedly changing data plates on various parts for both military and civilian aircraft. The weight of the items manufactured by Zerene was heavier than appropriate parts, indicating Zerene was using a different grade of aluminum. Zerene was not an authorized Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) repair station or a Department of Defense (DOD) contractor and consequently not in conformance to industry standards.
Initial surveillance revealed that aircraft parts were being manufactured at Zerene and on several occasions, several persons related to FAA Repair Stations and Aircraft Parts Brokers were observed at Zerene. In response to this information, a task force, titled “Operation Wingspan” was created involving several Federal Law Enforcement Agencies.