Saturday, March 25, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Ex-CEO Says Bell Helicopter Fired Him for Trying to Stop Frauds on Government

FORT WORTH (CN) - Bell Aerospace Services hired him as CEO in 2004 after ethics violations netted it $25 million in fines and got its president fired, Michael Prieto says. But when he informed superiors of continuing ethics violations, including felony fraud, Bell concocted misleading emails, did a "sham investigation," then fired him, Prieto claims in Tarrant County Court.

Prieto's complaint cites numerous emails from his bosses at Bell which he says were deceptive and intended to set him up for firing, which came in June this year.

He claims Bell and its subsidiaries engaged in felony mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, false claims and false statements, then conducted a "sham investigation" when he tried to stop it.

Prieto also sued Bell Helicopter Textron and Textron. He demands punitive damages. He is represented by Hal Gillespie of Dallas.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.