Newark airport screener charged in theft of cash

October 19, 2010 8:27:38 PM PDT
Federal authorities say a security screening supervisor stole as much as $700 a day from travelers passing through his checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport.

Forty-one-year-old Michael Arato of Ewing was arrested Tuesday following a five-week investigation.

Investigators say Arato also accepted kickbacks and bribes from a co-worker who also stole cash from passengers' bags. That person, who was not named, has been cooperating with the federal investigation.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Arato and the "co-schemer" targeted non-English-speaking victims, particularly women returning to India on a daily flight from Newark.

An after-hours message left for Arato's lawyer, assistant federal public defender John Yauch (yowk), was not immediately returned.