Man Guilty of Making Off With $165K of Gold in His Butt

Leston Lawrence inserted gold pucks into rectum, coincidentally named judge finds
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2016 3:37 AM CST
Ex-Mint Worker Guilty of Stealing $165K in Gold in His Butt
Not how we would've done it, but to each his own.   (AP Photo/Newmont Mining, File)

Leston Lawrence set off the metal detectors at his employer, the Royal Canadian Mint, nearly 30 times in three months, but other workers could never find evidence of anything on him, the CBC notes. Wednesday, however, he was found guilty of smuggling out 22 gold pucks worth $165,000, and the Ottawa judge who ruled in his case says evidence points to what the Ottawa Citizen calls "the ultimate inside job." "His locker contained Vaseline and latex gloves, which could have been used to insert a puck into his rectum," Justice Peter Doody noted, adding there weren't cameras in the mint's locker room and that Lawrence, who'd worked there for nearly seven years, "clearly had the opportunity" to perform his task. Lawrence's job entailed melting gold the mint brought in, purifying it using a chemical process, then testing some of the gold by scooping it out with a ladle.

Instead of returning those test pucks—which a defense attorney said in September were "about the diameter of an Oreo cookie, and about two-and-a-half times as thick," per the Toronto Star—to the vat of melted metal, Lawrence pocketed a bunch. (The ruling said he laundered 18 of the 22 pucks to the tune of almost $140,000.) The 35-year-old was busted when he cashed checks from a gold buyer and a sharp-eyed teller noticed where he worked and that he was wiring the cash overseas, the Toronto Sun reports. As for how the mint's guards missed the gold on his person: Doody explained the handheld detectors they used to sweep Lawrence's body weren't as sensitive as the detectors he initially walked through. Lawrence was found guilty of theft, laundering, possession of property obtained by crime, transporting gold out of the mint, and breach of trust by a public official. (A Chinese man with the worst friends died after they put something in his rectum.)

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