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Would-be pilot to be treated for delusions


The Bethesda man accused of posing as a commercial jet pilot to bilk airline employees and childhood friends of thousands of dollars has been committed to a private psychiatric hospital.

State doctors said Daniel Shykind, 31, is not dangerous and can be treated with drugs and therapy for delusional behavior.

In November, Shykind was found incompetent to stand trial on fraud charges after he refused to help prepare his defense, claiming he was a secret agent under orders from the CIA.

UPDATE: The charges and court records were ultimately expunged.

Montgomery Circuit Judge S. Michael Pincus ordered a state evaluation because of concerns that Shykind was armed when he was arrested, owned hollow-point ammunition and had retaliated against two of his 14 alleged victims.

Shykind's parents will pay for their son's treatment at Chestnut Lodge Hospital in Rockville, where he will live in a locked ward. When he is found competent, he will stand trial.

Prosecutors say Shykind had a United Airlines uniform and identification that he used to convince pilots, flight attendants and friends to invest more than $30,000 in a South American foreign currency exchange scheme.

His wife, a former American Airlines flight attendant, also has been charged with fraud and is to be tried in June.

Pub Date: 12/15/98

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