Fraud mitigation now an essential tool in every aircraft transaction

published in NBAA Insider | July/August 2022

In a recent NBAA Insider article titled “Fraud mitigation now an essential tool in every aircraft transaction,” McAfee & Taft aviation attorney Scott McCreary was interviewed about the rise in criminal activity targeting private aircraft transactions, as well as what parties to those transactions can do to mitigate their risks of being a victim of fraud and theft.

The article reported that a growing demand for aircraft, coupled with the influx of new and inexperienced owners, has attracted the attention of criminals who are looking to take advantage of those who are unfamiliar with the complexities and nuances of buying and selling aircraft, including the documentation process.

“Aircraft transactions involve a lot of parties,” said McCreary. “Beyond the seller and buyer, you typically have brokers, lenders and attorneys for both the buyer and seller, as well as escrow agents, management companies, maintenance facilities and pilots. If it’s a back-to-back transaction, you now multiply that by two, and if it is an international transaction, you add yet more involved parties. This provides many opportunities for criminals to introduce themselves into a transaction, especially with the modified techniques we have seen used in recent years.”