Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 
By Shamar Walters and Alastair Jamieson

A former security worker at Brink’s Company has been charged with stealing almost $200,000 worth of quarters, justice officials said Monday

Stephen Dennis, 49, of Harpersville, Alabama, is accused of taking the coins while working as a money processing manager, the Department of Justice said in a news release.

The 49-year-old has agreed to plead guilty to the charge and repay Brink’s, which has already reimbursed the coins’ owner, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, it said.

Freshly-minted quarters.Bloomberg via Getty Images

“What Mr. Dennis may have thought was a nickel and dime theft was, in the end, the equivalent of a major bank heist,” FBI Special Agent Roger C. Stanton said in the release.

An FBI investigation concluded that Dennis had replaced coins with beads in ballistic bags belonging to the Federal Reserve Coin Inventory.

An April 2014 audit found four bags contained beads and only $1,000 in quarters. The quarters were placed so they would be visible through a plastic window in the neck of each bag.

In total, Dennis swapped a total $196,000 worth of quarters for beads at the Brink’s facility in Birmingham, Alabama, investigators concluded — or 784,000 coins.

“This defendant may have thought he had quite a haul but now he carries a heavier load," U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance said in the news release. "He must repay the money and face a federal sentence.”

The maximum penalty for bank theft is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.