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Your Crime Costs You Less If You’re A TSA Worker!

January 17, 2012
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Your Crime Costs You Less If You’re A TSA Worker!
From the WSJ, two JFK TSA workers who stole $40K out of luggage are getting off light:

The Queens district attorney’s office says 44-year-old Coumar Persad and 31-year-old Davon Webb were sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail and five years’ probation. Both had pleaded guilty to grand larceny, obstructing governmental administration and official misconduct.

…Authorities say they swiped the cash after spotting it in a piece of luggage while it was being X-rayed in January 2011. The cash was recovered from their homes.

Persad’s attorney has said his client understands he made a mistake and wishes to move on with his life.

And how lucky for him that he worked for the TSA, because he’s getting quite the slap on the wrist, vis a vis the crime.

More from the Daily Mail:

Prosecutors said Persad X-rayed a piece of baggage on January 30 last year and noticed money inside. He then phoned Webb, who was in a baggage belt area, to tell him about the discovery.

Authorities said Webb showed up and marked the bag with tape. Persad then intercepted it in another handling area, and removed cash from the bag.

The pair later met in the bathroom to divide the money and hide it in their clothing.
Police say $39,980 was recovered from the suspects’ homes in connection with the investigation.

Law prof Jonathan Turley on the sentence:

What I found quite remarkable was the sentence that they received; six months in jail and five years probation. That is a remarkably light sentence for federal employees involved in a major theft while using public authority and resources.

…In New York, grand larceny applies for crimes with any theft over $1,000. This would be 40 times that amount. Under NY Penal Law § 155.42m grand larceny in the first degree is a Class B felony that receives up to 25 years in prison. NY Penal Law § 155.40 and grand larceny in the second degree weighs in at 15 years in prison. Even the lowest, grand larceny in the fourth degree under NY Penal Law § 155.30 brings up to 4 years in prison.

The disconnect in the case with other cases is quite remarkable, even discounting the different legal systems. For example, a rapper who stole a purse with $6000 was given a seven year sentence. I would put two TSA officers stealing $40,000 as a bit more serious than a ramped up purse snatching. Even singing rabbi got one to three years for stealing $36,000 from a woman.

I fail to understand why, even with a plea, these men were given such a light sentence. They did not come forward on their own and used public trust to commit this crime.

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