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Former LAX cargo handler gets 1 year in prison for stealing gold bars worth $224K



A former LAX cargo handler was sentenced Monday to one year in prison for stealing gold bars from a shipment headed from Australia to New York, officials announced.

Marlon Moody, 39, of South Los Angeles, was an employee at Alliance Ground International, a cargo handling company at Los Angeles International Airport, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

On April 22, 2020, a shipment of gold bars arrived at LAX on Singapore Airlines. It was destined for a Canadian bank in New York.

The shipment had a total of 2,000 gold bars, each weighing one kilogram and valued at around $56,000.

But after the stopover at LAX, an inventory check that evening showed one box containing 25 gold bars was missing.

Officials said Moody found the missing box of gold bars near the Singapore Airlines cargo warehouse the next morning, placed it on a belt loader and drove to a nearby location, where he removed four of the bars from the box.

A short time later, another employee at the same company, 36-year-old Brian Benson of South Los Angeles, showed up to pick up Moody in a company van, “where they exchanged text messages about the gold bars because other employees were in the van,” U.S. Attorney’s Office officials said.

The two men later left the airport and went to a nearby parking lot, where Moody gave Benson one of the four gold bars, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The lost box with the 21 other gold bars was discovered by other cargo handlers later that day, launching an investigation that ultimately led to Moody and Benson.

Moody had buried two gold bars in his backyard and given the third bar to a relative “and directed the family member to exchange the gold bar for a vehicle and/or money,” according to court documents.

The FBI recovered all four gold bars about two weeks after they went missing from the airport, officials said.

Moody and Benson both pleaded guilty in July 2021 to conspiracy to commit theft of an interstate or foreign shipment.

Benson has already served a four-month prison sentence for the crime.

In addition to his one-year prison sentence, Moody was ordered to pay a fine of $7,500.

“[Moody] conspired to steal and actually stole $224,000 worth of gold and kept $112,000 worth for himself,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “As an AGI employee, defendant was entrusted with handling cargo shipments at LAX and granted access to certain sections of the airport. [Moody] squandered that trust by stealing from those who relied on him to handle their property.”



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