This is one of those “WTF, REALLY?” stories.
Al Raimi, a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employee, of Woodbridge, New Jersey, was sentenced to six months of house arrest today for stealing money from unsuspecting travelers as they passed through security screenings at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Raimi has also been ordered to pay out $24,150 restitution to his victims and a $3,000 fine to the court. This sentence comes after the fact that on February 24, 2011 Raimi pled guilty and admitted that he and his supervisor regularly stole from travelers.
Court documents show that from October of 2009 to September of 2010 Raimi stole between $10,000 to $30,000 in cash from travelers. Raimi worked as the lead transportation security officer at the B-3 security checkpoint for Terminal B at Newark Airport in New Jersey. Raimi would then give his immediate supervisor, Michael Arato, a portion of the stolen money so that he could keep his operation going. Arato was sentenced on June 7, 2011 to thirty months in prison.
In February 2011 both men pled guilty for their acts. Raimi for stealing and Arato for accepting bribes and kickbacks from Raimi. Together they wound up stealing a large sum of money from unsuspecting and frankly, trusting, people. In my eyes TSA employees are seen as trustworthy, honest and dedicated employees in our airports.
Personally, I wouldn’t suspect for one second that a TSA employee would try to steal from me when they’re supposed to be protecting me. This is just another sad lesson in life that people are not always what they seem. If you travel with cash be sure to keep tabs on it, in and out of airports.
If you have been scammed and would like to file a scam report, please click here.