By Tony Hanson
LANCASTER, Pa. (CBS) – It’s father against son in a federal case of fraud and fingerpointing.
Jay Stout, owner of the now defunct Flying Tigers air maintenance company in Lancaster County, has denied allegations he cheated customers by falsely claiming safety inspections had been done by certified inspectors.
The witnesses against Jay Stout include his son, Joel, who pleaded guilty and testified earlier he forged the signatures of certified inspectors. And he says his father did, too.
But Jay Stout has denied it again and again in questioning by defense attorney Joel Benecke.
Benecke: “Did you ever forge anyone’s signature?”
Jay Stout: “No.”
Benecke: “Did you ever ask any of your employees or people who were not employees to forge a signature in an aircraft owner’s log book?”
Jay Stout: “I did not.”
Benecke: “Were you ever aware of this occurring and you decided to go along with it?”
Jay Stout: “I wasn’t aware of anything happening.”
Stout also claims he wasn’t aware forgeries were happening, telling a federal jury he put his son in charge of the Flying Tigers operation.
“I chose to trust my son to do the right thing while I was gone, because he was the one who was going to end up with the airport,” Jay Stout said.
Prosecutor Arlene Fisk challenged Jay Stout, who disputed the testimony of multiple witnesses, including some defense witnesses, but the focus for the crimes was on son Joel.
Fisk: “You are certain he is the one who did it?”
Stout: “He confessed.”
Fisk: “That’s correct, and to doing it with you, Mr. Stout.”
Stout: “Well, he’s got a problem with me. We already established that.”
Fisk: “And it appears you also have a problem with him?”
Stout: “I did not have a problem with him until this.”
Jay Stout suggested his son testified and lied because he’s angry that the airport, his inheritance, was sold.
Meanwhile, Joel Stout says he’s testifying because it’s the right thing to do.
It’s not alleged there were any air incidents in connection with this case.