An ex-money processing manager for Brink's Company in Alabama who had access to bags and bags of quarters swapped out coins for beads and made off with nearly $200,000 in 2014, per the FBI. Stephen Dennis, 49, has agreed to plead guilty and pay Brink's back for the money he's accused of stealing from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta while he was working in the armored transport service's Birmingham branch (Brink's has already paid the bank back), NBC News reports. Per a Justice Department press release, Dennis allegedly entered Brink's on a day he wasn't scheduled to work in February 2014, took four of the empty ballistic bags in which quarters are stored (each bag holds $50,000 in quarters), and filled them mostly with beads, as well as with just enough quarters so the coins could be seen in a see-through window on each bag.
He's then said to have put the four bags in the coin room and, at some point, stolen 784,000 quarters—about 10,000 pounds' worth, or the weight of a large hippo, per AL.com—worth $196,000. An audit in April of that year found the bags only contained $1,000 each in real currency. "What Mr. Dennis may have thought was a nickel and dime theft was, in the end, the equivalent of a major bank heist," the FBI agent in charge of the case says in the release. "Now, he will be a convicted felon who must repay all the stolen money." The US attorney for the Northern District of Alabama piles it on with coined phrases, adding, "This defendant may have thought he had quite a haul … but now he carries a heavier load." That load would normally include the maximum penalty for bank theft, which is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, though it's still unclear how Dennis' plea deal will affect his punishment. (A New York parking cop swiped $89,000 in coins from parking meters.)