Hand Out

By Joe Nelson
joe.nelson@ inlandnewspapers.com @SBCountyNow on Twitter
Posted: 03/28/2013 07:35:19 PM PDT

San Bernardino International Airport officials say they will seek to recover more than $1 million they paid to former airport developer Scot Spencer to settle a legal dispute over a lease agreement prosecutors now say was a sham.

“(San Bernardino International Airport Authority) intends to recover its losses as a result of what we believe are fraudulent misrepresentations made by Mr. Spencer, as well as against the parties that made the misrepresentations,” A.J. Wilson, the airport’s interim executive director, said in a statement Wednesday.

The District Attorney’s Office announced this week it had charged Spencer, 48, and a business affiliate, Felice Luciano, 69, with criminal conspiracy and perjury relating to a charter jet lease agreement with the Democratic National Committee in 2008 that became the target of an FBI probe.

Spencer filed a claim with the Airport Authority in 2008, saying he lost out on a lease agreement with the Democratic National Committee to charter a jet after an airport official mistakenly leased the hangar Spencer’s companies were to occupy to a blimp manufacturer.

Authorities say Spencer exploited that mistake for financial gain, fabricating the lease agreement in order to squeeze $1.75 million from the Airport Authority, which ultimately settled with Spencer for $1.02 million.

Legal counsel for the Democratic National Committee told district attorney investigator Schyler Beaty the Committee never had any such lease agreement with Spencer, according to Beaty’s 13-page report that was the basis for the charges filed against Spencer and Luciano.

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