Business Briefly: L.A. man gets prison for repackaging Boeing 737 plane parts

A Los Angeles businessman has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in federal prison for selling uncertified aircraft manufacturing parts that were used to make Boeing 737 airplanes. Prosecutors say 74-year-old Duane Lepire was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court after pleading guilty in April to fraud for selling commercial-grade rubber gaskets that were not approved for aviation manufacturing. The U.S. attorney’s office says Lepire, the owner of Chatsworth Rubber and Gasket Co. in Canoga Park, falsely claimed the parts were certified for use in aircraft manufacturing. Lepire painted and repackaged the cheaper parts with bogus “certificates of conformance.” The nonconforming O-rings were used to make vibration dampeners that leaked hydraulic fluid, which was a safety hazard but didn’t cause any accidents.

S.C. lawmakers quiz Boeing on minority hiring

Black lawmakers want to make sure minorities get a fair chance at jobs at Boeing’s new assembly line in South Carolina. The Post and Courier of Charleston reports state Sen. Robert Ford, a Democrat and member of the Legislative Black Caucus, has written Boeing President Jim McNerney. The company plans to build a North Charleston assembly plant to make 787 jetliners. Ford says blacks have disproportionately suffered job losses in the state because of the recession. The caucus wants to know about Boeing’s hiring plans and its track record of hiring minorities and women. Boeing expects to create 3,800 assembly jobs and 2,000 construction jobs. Ford did not immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Fannie Mae tax credit could cost $5.2 billion

Fannie Mae said Monday it may have to ask the government for more financial assistance because the company cannot sell $5.2 billion in tax credits. The Treasury Department last week blocked the mortgage giant from selling about $2.6 billion in low-income housing tax credits to investors that included Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Because the investors could use the credits to reduce their own tax bills, Treasury said the sale would result in a loss of tax revenue greater than the savings to the government. Fannie Mae requested $15 billion in financial aid last week after reporting a $19.8 billion quarterly loss, bringing the taxpayers’ bill for the mortgage company’s rescue to $60 billion. Fannie said in a regulatory filing that it was evaluating whether it would have to take a charge in the current quarter to reflect the value of the now-worthless tax credits.

Google to buy mobile advertising network

Google Inc. is stepping up its push to sell advertising on cell phones, announcing a deal Monday to buy a mobile ad network, AdMob, for $750 million in stock. Google already has a mobile ad delivery system, DoubleClick Mobile, which it got with its $3.2 billion acquisition of DoubleClick Inc. in 2008. Google said buying AdMob will give it more expertise in a market that is expected to grow rapidly over the next several years.

Group predicts Thanksgiving airline travel will drop 4%

An airline industry trade group predicts that passenger traffic over the Thanksgiving holiday will drop 4 percent from last year. The Air Transport Association made the forecast Monday despite deep discounting by airlines over the past several months. U.S. airlines have struggled this year with declining traffic during the recession, forcing airlines to cut capacity. With fewer flights, planes are likely to be full over Thanksgiving, the trade group said. It called the capacity reductions the deepest since 1942. The group said the four busiest travel days around Thanksgiving are expected to be Monday, Nov. 30; Sunday, Nov. 29; Friday, Nov. 20; and Wednesday, Nov. 25, the day before the holiday.

From Herald news services

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