Judge orders Tulsa company to pay fine, restitution for lying about space station parts

Tuesday, July 9th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ A federal judge ordered a manufacturing company to pay nearly $320,000 in fines and restitution for lying about repairs made on parts for a spy plane and the international space station.

Prosecutors said Copeland Manufacturing Corp. obstructed justice and provided a financial statement that omitted more than $1.4 million in company assets, prompting the judge to assess the maximum financial penalty Monday.

The company pleaded guilty in February 2001 to submitting a document in 1996 falsely certifying that two titanium fittings it made for the wings of Tier II Plus Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft followed engineering drawings.

It also said it submitted a document in 1998 falsely certifying that an aluminum battery guide meant for the international space station followed similar specifications.

An April 11, 2000, federal grand jury indictment alleged that all three parts had unapproved weld repairs. The company pleaded guilty on the second day of the trial and prosecutors dropped the six criminal charges against the company's chief executive officer, Donald Ralph Copeland, 70.