Penn Yan man sentenced to probation for forging SpaceX parts in Rochester

The Penn Yan man who pleaded guilty to forging inspection reports for aerospace parts used by NASA will only serve probation.

That according to the Democrat and Chronicle, who reported that James Smalley, 43, of Penn Yan was sentenced to probation instead of 15 years in prison.

That was the maximum sentence he could have faced for pleading guilty.

He worked as a quality assurance engineer at PMI Industries in Gates, New York. They make structural rocket parts.

Prosecutors said Smalley falsified 38 source inspection reports for parts purchased by California based SpaceX for the manufacturing of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy series of space vehicles.

At least 76 parts had falsified inspection reports and were never inspected when shipped. After those false inspections were discovered – SpaceX ended its relationship with the Gates company, which was worth approximately $200,000 in annual business.

SpaceX found that seven NASA missions, two Air Force missions and one NOAA flight mission were impacted by the parts.