A former Transportation Security Administration officer assigned to John F. Kennedy International Airport was convicted last week of grand larceny and other charges for stealing $10,000 cash from two passengers traveling in December 2011 and January 2012, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Alexandra Schmid, 34, of Brooklyn, was convicted last Wednesday following a nearly four-week bench trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Joel Blumenfeld, who found her guilty of third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and official misconduct. She faces up to 14 years in prison when she is sentenced on March 13.
According to trial testimony, Schmid was on duty on Dec. 9, 2011 when Dr. Imrana Ali and her family passed through security before boarding a plane for India. Schmid separated the passengers from their belongings for approximately 15 minutes, and when the passengers collected their bags, she acted rude and strangely while insisting she hadn’t touched their things. The family then rushed to board their flight and that is when Ali realized $6,000 cash had been taken from her husband’s jacket pocket.
According to court records, on Jan. 5, 2012 passenger Rahat Mohammed Shimul and his mother, traveling to India, were screened by Schmid. Shimul alerted Schmid that his mother’s pocketbook contained $4,000 in cash and jewelry. Schmid then took Shimul’s mother’s purse, left the area and returned moments later. Shimul checked the purse, noticed the cash was gone and asked Schmid about the missing money. Schmid accused Shimul of stealing it.
“TSA has zero tolerance for theft. This individual resigned from federal service several years ago at the time she was initially questioned about the incidents,” said a TSA spokeswoman.
By Michael V. Cusenza