updated 6/8/2011 10:37:11 AM ET 2011-06-08T14:37:11

A former security supervisor at Newark Liberty International Airport has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for his role in a scheme to steal cash from the luggage of travelers passing through checkpoints.

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Michael Arato of Ewing pleaded guilty in February to accepting bribes from a subordinate at the Transportation Security Administration.

The U.S. attorney for New Jersey says Arato looked the other way while an employee he supervised stole between $10,000 and $30,000 in cash from passengers during a 13-month period ending in October 2010. In exchange, the employee gave Arato a cut of the money he stole.

Arato had faced up to 15 years in prison. He was sentenced Tuesday.

The subordinate, Al Raimi of Woodbridge, also has pleaded guilty. He's expected to be sentenced in September.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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