American Airlines Flight Attendant Arrested For Stealing Thousands In Coins Donated To UNICEF

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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police arrested a 56-year-old American Airlines flight attendant last week and charged him with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property after finding 700 pounds worth of foreign coins in various bags and suitcases in the back of his 2006 Ford Explorer parked at JFK airport.  It’s believed that Marco Costa, the arrested flight attendant, started taking the coins as early as January 2013, and continued thru October 2014.

American Airlines Flight Attendant Arrested

Port Authority Police Picture published by People magazine of some of the coins found in Costa's SUV.

Port Authority Police Picture published by People magazine of some of the coins found in Costa’s SUV.

According to People magazine:

The Port Authority Police Department began their investigation last October when officers noticed that the registration for Costa’s 2006 Ford, which was parked at John F. Kennedy International Airport, had expired in September.

They also noticed that the rear of his vehicle appeared low to the ground.

After a canine indicated that there weren’t any explosives in the car, the vehicle was towed and impounded. When they searched the trunk, they found $150 in U.S. coins, plus thousands more in Euros and British pounds.

The Port Authority Police allege that the flight attendant would seek donations on American Airlines international flights as a part of UNICEF’s “Change For Good” program, but then he “pocketed the money.” American Airlines has been participating in the program since 1994, collecting coins on international flights as well as collecting money in the International and Flagship lounges. Costa is due in court in March.

Bottom Line:
UNICEFs Change For Good program is a good cause, and hopefully the majority of airline employees are doing the right thing and giving the coins they collect to UNICEF.  UNICEF says that the global Change For Good program has generated more than $130 million since 1987.

 

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