Lead transportation security officer at newark international airport pleads guilty to stealing from travelers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – A Lead Transportation Security Officer employed by the Transportation Security Administration at Newark Liberty International Airport admitted today that he and his supervisor regularly stole from travelers during security screenings, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Al Raimi, 29, of Woodbridge, N.J., pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Jose L. Linares to an Information charging him with theft by a government officer.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From October 2009 to September 8, 2010, Raimi was a Lead Transportation Security Officer at the B-3 security checkpoint for Terminal B at Newark Airport. During that time, Raimi stole between $10,000 and $30,000 in cash from travelers. Raimi would then “kick up” a portion of the money he stole to Michael Arato – his immediate supervisor at the checkpoint. In exchange, Arato allowed Raimi to continue stealing.
Arato pleaded guilty before Judge Linares earlier this month to accepting bribes and kickbacks from Raimi, admitting that he did so in exchange for not reporting the thefts to their superiors or other authorities. Arato also admitted that he regularly stole from passengers traveling through the checkpoint.
The charge to which Raimi pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Raimi and Arato are scheduled to be sentenced on June 6 and May 24, 2011, respectively.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory K. Null for the Northeast Region, and detectives and officers of the Port Authority Police Department of New York and New Jersey, under the direction of Superintendent Michael A. Fedorko, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant United States Attorney Eric Kanefsky of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
Defense counsel: Philip Karasyk, New York