The private plane carrying Latin singer Jenni Rivera that crashed on Sunday was owned by an executive who was imprisoned for allegedly faking safety documents of planes he bought, the LA Times reported late Wednesday:
A Starwood executive, Christian E. Esquino Nunez, was accused of conspiring with associates in the 1990s and 2000s to falsify records documenting the history of planes they bought and sold — tail numbers, inspection stamps and logbooks. Esquino's "fraudulent business practices ... put the flying public at risk," federal authorities argued in documents obtained by The Times.
"We had a forewarning that this is what he is," Timothy D. Coughlin, an assistant U.S. attorney in San Diego, said. "Essentially they would manufacture the records ... that would indicate that maintenance was up to date. They would create them out of whole cloth." Once Esquino brought the planes across the border for sale, "it was open season," Coughlin said.