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Six Aerospace Executives Indicted by US Government

Six Aerospace sector executives have been indicted by the US government, including one who worked at Pratt & Whitney, for allegedly colluding to manipulate employment practises in order to decrease labour expenses. According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the conspiracy involved thousands of engineers and other skilled professionals in the Aerospace industry who perform services in the design, production, and repair of aircraft components for both commercial and military uses.

On December 7, the DOJ filed antitrust charges against former P&W employee Mahesh Patel. The case has now been widened to include five people who worked for companies that supply the Connecticut engine maker. The executives collaborated to stifle competition in the Aerospace business by allocating staff – particularly, by agreeing to limit the hiring and recruiting of engineers and other qualified workers.

The management wanted to minimise the increase in labour expenses that would occur if Aerospace workers were free to pursue new jobs in a competitive atmosphere. Although Pratt & Whitney is not named in the indictment, additional court documents and show that Patel worked for the engine manufacturer as an Aerospace engineering outsource executive.

Robert Harvey, Harpreet Wasan, Steven Houghtaling, Tom Edwards, and Gary Prus are the other five executives charged. The indictment does not name their employment, but according to a related lawsuit on LinkedIn, people with those identities worked at engineering firms Quest Global Services, Belcan Engineering Group, Cyient, and Parametric Solutions. On December 15, the government filed an indictment in the US District Court for the District of Connecticut. Patel, a former P&W employee, was the mastermind behind the plot, which lasted at least from 2011 to 2019.

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