Phillips Guilty of Fraud in Iron 44 Crash
Levi Phillips, 46, of Grants Pass pleaded guilty Monday to a single count of conspiring to defraud the U.S. Forest Service by falsifying information about the weight, balance and performance of four firefighting helicopters including the Sikorsky that clipped a tree and crashed in August of 2008. Nine people died in that crash including seven Southern Oregon firefighters.
Phillips’ sentencing hearing will take place on April 14th. He faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
Phillips plea agreement was read into court records including his obligation to cooperate with the investigation and to testify against Steven Metheny, 42, of Central Point.
The false information was provided so the Merlin based Carson’s Helicopters could get $20 million in contracts.