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TSA agent admits stealing tens of thousands in cash from travelers

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

A security supervisor at Newark Liberty International Airport admitted today in federal court that he and his boss routinely stole tens of thousands of dollars in cash from travelers during checkpoint screenings.

Al Raimi, once the lead Transportation Security Officer employed by the Transportation Security Administration at Newark, said he “kicked up” part of the money to to Michael Arato, his immediate supervisor at the Terminal B checkpoint, so that he could keep stealing.

Arato, in turn, looked the other way, he said.

Arato pleaded guilty earlier this month to accepting bribes and kickbacks from Raimi — and to taking some money himself. Raimi, 29, of Woodbridge,  pleaded guilty to theft by a government officer.

U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares set sentencing for Arato on May 24 and for Raimi on June 6.

U.S. Attorney U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman  credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General, and detectives and officers of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Eric Kanefsky of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark is handling the case.

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