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Man sentenced to 11 years in $7 million airplane fraud scheme that bilked Darien company

The Connecticut company invested $4 million to buy an Airbus airframe and engines.
Credit: AP
A Vueling Airlines Airbus A320 takes off from Lisbon airport, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

HARTFORD, Conn. — A Missouri man was sentenced Wednesday to 11 years in prison on money laundering offenses stemming from a $7 million scheme related to his commercial aircraft supply businesses.

Kyle Wine, 42, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering last July. In 2010 he was convicted of fraud and money laundering offenses stemming from a mortgage fraud scheme that involved approximately $4.4 million in fraudulent loans on 86 properties. While out on bond for the latest charges, officials said Wine created and submitted counterfeit bank statements in an attempt to obtain a loan to purchase a Cadillac Escalade from a Kansas car dealer. He has been detained since December 20, 2022, when his bond was revoked.

Authorities said from at least 2018 through 2021, Wine defrauded investors in aircraft-related transactions. They said Wine used victims' money to buy aircraft airframes and engines, sold the aircraft airframes and engines, hid the resulting profits from his investors, and diverted invested funds for his personal use.

As part of the scheme, Wine induced an investment firm based in Darien to invest $4.5 million in the purported acquisition and sale of an Airbus A320-231 airframe and two aircraft engines. Wine sent fake correspondence to the victim investor and created fake domain names and email accounts and used those email accounts to send fraudulent correspondence to the victim investor to trick the investor into believing that Wine's company was attempting to sell the Airbus airframe and the two aircraft engines to certain buyers. In fact, Wine had already sold one engine for $2.45 million and the Airbus airframe for $1.3 million. He never informed the victim investor of those sales and shared none of the proceeds of the sales with the investor. Wine also used some of these invested funds to purchase another aircraft engine without the knowledge of the victim investor.

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In total, 13 separate victims lost $7,152,666.67 in Wine’s fraud scheme, according to prosecutors. 

The judge ordered Wine to pay restitution to the victims from the sale of assets.

Doug Stewart is the Senior Digital Content Producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.

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