Man who stole $400,000 from MTA buses faces 2-year federal sentence

March 31, 2010|By Tricia Bishop | | Baltimore Sun reporter

A White Marsh man was sentenced to two years in federal prison Wednesday for stealing $400,000 from parked Baltimore buses, the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office announced.

David Mark Pattawi, 36, worked an unsupervised night shift for the Maryland Transit Administration, and used the time to break into transit bus fare boxes using an electronic key, according to court documents. He stole nearly half a million dollars in change and small bills from at least January 2007 through March 2008.

Police said they found coin counters and paper wrappers, $9,053 in cash and $8,000 worth of money orders when they searched his Baltimore County home. U.S. Postal Inspectors claim Pattawi, who earned a $60,000 annual salary, routinely put large amounts of cash down on purchases, including nearly $50,000 in money orders and $12,200 to buy a Lincoln Navigator.

Pattawi, who pleaded guilty as part of a deal, also paid $97,000 to settle on a new, half-million-dollar house in February of last year, after putting $23,000 down, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

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