According to a recent Associated Press report, an airport baggage handler in Philadelphia has been charged with stealing $20,000 in new, uncirculated $100 bills. Federal authorities reported that the man confessed after the FBI subjected him to a polygraph examination.
Through court documents, federal prosecutors explained that the man was working at the Philadelphia International Airport on October 11th when a U.S. Airways flight arrived from Dallas carrying more than ninety million dollars worth of new $100 bills. The new currency was not set to be made public until 2013. The courier service that transported the bills from the airport to the Federal Reserve in East Rutherford, New Jersey reported that the container had been breached and that some of the money was missing.
NBC 10 News in Philadelphia reported that a number of baggage handlers were interviewed on the day the theft occurred. While the man initially said that he did not know if anyone took the money from the plane, he was interviewed a second time and reportedly admitted that he was the only handler with access to the money when it landed that morning. After a polygraph test, he allegedly confessed and led the FBI to his car, where the missing money was found.
Federal crimes carry severe consequences. Because of this, it is imperative that you know your rights and options if you have been charged with a crime (or are under investigation for such). It is unclear whether the baggage handler had access to legal counsel or was advised of his right to do so before participating in the investigation. Regardless, the preceding story should serve as a reminder of a person's right to have an attorney present (or to consult a lawyer) before making statements that could implicate them in a crime.
Sources: HuffingtonPost.com, Alex Price, Baggage Handler, Accused Of Stealing Uncirculated $100 Bills, October 23, 2012; NBC 10 News.com, Baggage Handler Steals Rare $100 Bills From Airplane: Officials, October 23, 2012