By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
Never take the Federal Reserve’s lunch money.
That’s the message 49-year-old Stephen Lancaster Dennis received on Monday, March 7, 2016 as he reached a plea agreement in federal court for the theft of 784,000 quarters ($196,000) from a Brink’s location in Birmingham, Alabama in 2014.
At the time of the theft, the Harpersville, Alabama resident Dennis worked as a money processing manager at that particular Brink’s and used his access and credentials to abscond with the coins.
From January through the middle of February 2014, Dennis ferreted away 9,800 pounds worth of United States quarters. Together, the coins would fill four ballistic bags worth almost $50,000 each. On February 16, 2014, Dennis showed up at work on his day off and gathered four empty skids and four empty bags. He then filled the bags with beads and $1,000 worth of quarters to hide the fraudulent contents. Dennis then returned the four bags to the Brink’s coin room.
February 20 was his last day of work.
Unfortunately for Dennis, a certain amount of the coins he stole came from the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta, making him liable for federal charges. During a Federal Reserve Coin Inventory audit in April of 2014, the fraud was discovered.
FBI special agent in charge Roger C. Stanton lead the federal investigation into the heist.
As part of his plea agreement, Mr. Dennis must repay Brink’s the $196,000 he stole and which the company had already reimbursed the Federal Reserve. He is also eligible for a maximum federal sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine, though by pleading guilty Dennis may receive a lesser punishment at sentencing.
Representing the Northern District of Alabama in court was U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Cornelius prosecuted the case.
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