LAX cargo handlers plead guilty to stealing $224,000 worth of gold bars

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Two airline cargo employees working at Los Angeles International Airport pleaded guilty to stealing approximately $224,000 in gold from a New York-bound international shipment of 2,000 gold bars.

Los Angeles residents Marlon Moody, 38, and 35-year-old Brian Benson each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of an interstate or foreign shipment for lifting four gold bars, estimated to be worth $56,000 each, from the load on April 23, 2020, the Justice Department announced Friday.

Moody and Benson were working for Alliance Ground International, which offers cargo handling services at the airport, when a shipment of gold bars arrived from Australia on a flight operated by Singapore Airlines the day before the theft, the Justice Department said.

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The plane was hauling 2,000 gold bars in total, each weighing about 2.2 pounds, when it stopped at LAX. The gold was offloaded and secured, but one box containing 25 gold bars was discovered to be missing when an inventory was conducted that evening.

On the morning of April 23, Moody discovered the missing gold bars near the Singapore Airlines cargo warehouse and removed four of them from the box, the Justice Department said.

He then picked up Benson in a company vehicle, texting with his co-worker because other employees were inside the van at the same time, and later gave Benson one of the four bars, according to the DOJ statement. Other cargo workers discovered the lost box of gold with 21 bars inside later that day.

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The FBI recovered all four gold bars about two weeks later after an investigation. Moody had given one of them to a relative, telling the person "to exchange the gold bar for a vehicle and/or money,” court documents said. He buried the other two gold bars in his backyard.

The two men are scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 1, and each faces a maximum of five years in prison.

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Tags: News, Los Angeles, Transportation, Crime, Singapore

Original Author: Jeremy Beaman

Original Location: LAX cargo handlers plead guilty to stealing $224,000 worth of gold bars

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