Harpersville man charged with stealing $200k in quarters as Brink’s employee

Published 9:58 am Tuesday, March 8, 2016


BIRMINGHAM – A Harpersville man has been charged with stealing nearly $200,000 in quarters while he worked for Brink’s Company armored transport service.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Stephen Lancaster Dennis, 49, on March 7 with one count of bank theft for allegedly stealing $196,000 belonging to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta when he worked as a money processing manager for Brink’s at its Birmingham branch in early 2014, according to a press release.

Dennis has entered an agreement with the government to plead guilty to the charge and repay $196,000 to Brink’s, the release read.

Brink’s has reimbursed the Federal Reserve Bank for the loss.

“This defendant may have thought he had quite a haul when he took nearly $200,000 in quarters from the Federal Reserve’s coin storage at Brink’s, but now he carries a heavier load,” U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance wrote on March 7. “He must repay the money and face a federal sentence.”

As a money processing manager at Brink’s Birmingham facility, Dennis had access to the Federal Reserve Coin Inventory since Brink’s stored U.S. currency and coin belonging to its customers at the facility.

The quarters were stored in ballistic bags, each containing $50,000, and the bags were stored on skids inside Brink’s Coin Room.

An April 2014 audit of the Federal Reserve Coin Inventory revealed four of the ballistic bags contained beads and only $1,000 in quarters. The quarters were placed so they would be visible through a plastic window in the neck of each bag, according to court documents and Dennis’s plea agreement.

On Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, which was not a scheduled workday for Dennis, he entered Brink’s and collected four empty skids and four empty ballistic bags, and filled the bags with beads.

Dennis placed the skids and bags inside the coin room, and between Jan. 1, 2014, and Feb. 20, 2014, his last day of employment at Brink’s, he stole the 784,000 quarters totaling $196,000.

“What Mr. Dennis may have thought was a nickel and dime theft was, in the end, the equivalent of a major bank heist,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Roger C. Stanton wrote in the release. “Now, he will be a convicted felon who must repay all the stolen money.”

The maximum prison sentence for bank theft is 10 years, along with a $250,000 fine.

The FBI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Cornelius is prosecuting.