Charter Operator Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Business Jet Traveler » August 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 5:00am

Andre Budhan, a cofounder of defunct charter operator Platinum Jet, has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to defraud customers and brokers and impede and obstruct the FAA. The case stemmed from the 2005 crash of a Challenger 600 following takeoff at Teterboro (N.J.) Airport. Budhan, who admitted that he and his coconspirators booked and operated about 100 illegal flights, faces 46 to 57 months in prison. He will also have to pay restitution to his victims and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. His five Platinum Jet codefendants have all pleaded not guilty and are scheduled for trial in January.

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““CEOs go to their vacation homes just after companies report favorable news, and CEOs return to headquarters right before subsequent news is released. More good news is released when CEOs are back at work, and CEOs appear not to leave headquarters at all if a firm has adverse news to disclose. When CEOs are away from the office, stock prices behave quietly with sharply lower volatility. Volatility increases immediately when CEOs return to work.” —David Yermack, a New York University finance professor, whose recently released study shows a correlation between when CEOs take their private jets on vacation and movements in their companies’ stock price ”

-David Yermack