The aviation company Ron DeSantis hired to fly migrants to Martha’s Vineyard buys equipment from Russia, donates to Florida Republicans and received a PPP loan while Trump was still in office.
September 18, 2022

Forensic News’ Scott Stedman did a deep dive into the disturbing financials of Vertol Systems Company Inc. (VSC), the Destin, Florida aviation company awarded $615,000 by the Florida Department of Transportation for “relocation program of unauthorized aliens.”

Stedman writes:

Archived versions of VSC’s website, which was deleted sometime after the last capture on August 2nd, show that the company claimed that it was “the only civil company currently operating Russian helicopters in the United States.”

This is an accurate quotation and screen grab from VSC’s now-deleted website:

Stedman notes that shipping records support this claim. Most records indicate VSC has imported parts and equipment from a “little-known Ukrainian company called Avexcom, whose ultimate beneficiary could not be established.” However other records show that VSC has “imported helicopters directly from Russian government-owned corporations.” That includes a 2018 transaction for $48 million, in 2018, with a company that’s a subsidiary of a state-owned and controlled holding company.

That company and its subsidiary were sanctioned in 2022, by the Biden administration, for producing helicopters used by Russia in its war against Ukraine.

Under Donald Trump, however, the U.S government awarded the company a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of $255,585 on April 13, 2020.

According to Judd Legum, VSC also donated $10,000 to the Republican Party of Florida, in 2019 and nearly $8,000 directly or to a PAC in support of Rep. Matt Gaetz:

It doesn’t look like VSC got its contract because of an outstanding record of quality.

More from Forensic News:

VSC’s equipment, much of it imported from Russia or Ukraine, has a history of faltering. A 2011 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) review found that a VSC fixed-wing aircraft crashed into a field after experiencing a “total” loss of engine power. The pilot, “heard a loud, ‘metal-on-metal’ sound,” the NTSB reported.

“The engine vibrated violently, and it subsequently quit completely. The airplane was force landed in a farm field and nosed over in the soft terrain.” The three people aboard the plane were not injured. The plane suffered substantial damage.

The Florida Department of Transportation did not immediately return an email seeking comment on VSC.

We can't say that any kickbacks occurred here but there sure seems to be a lot of smoke.

The connection to the Russian government raises even more questions.

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