A man in Alabama stole so much change that he could have funded several lifetimes’ worth of vending machine snacks and toll booth fare if he had gotten away with it.
Stephen Lancaster Dennis of Harpersville, Alabama, plead guilty to bank theft after being charged with stealing 784,000 quarters totaling $196,000, through his job with Brink’s armored transport service, reported CNN.
“What Mr. Dennis may have thought was a nickel and dime theft was, in the end, the equivalent of a major bank heist,” Roger Stanton, FBI Special Agent in Charge, said in a news release. “Now, he will be a convicted felon who must repay all the stolen money.”
Dennis, 49, was a money processing manager for Brink’s Birmingham branch when he stole the money belonging to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
He took the massive amount of quarters, nearly 5 tons’ worth, from ballistic bags that held $50,000 in quarters apiece stored on skids in the Federal Reserve’s Coin Room.
Authorities were alerted after an April 2014 audit of the coin inventory found that four of the bags were mostly filled with beads. They each contained only $1,000 in quarters that were placed so that they would be visible through a plastic window on the necks of the bags.
According to the Justice Department, an investigation revealed that Dennis had taken four empty skids and four empty ballistic bags on his day off on February 16, 2014, filled them with beads, and then later switched them out for full ones in the Coin Room.
Dennis has been ordered to reimburse the Federal Reserve and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,00 fine.