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"Man arrested after trying to hide $70,000 from Kansas City airport screeners"


 
Thursday, December 21, 2006

Man arrested after trying to hide $70,000 from airport screeners
The Associated Press


KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A man who told airport security that the $70,000 in cash
causing his pants pockets to bulge were Muslim "prayer books" could soon
face charges of mortgage fraud.

Federal officials said Don A. White Jr. of Sacramento, Calif., attempted to
board a Southwest Airlines flight to San Diego last week at the Kansas City
International Airport.

After White made two unsuccessful passes through a metal detector, security
personnel patted him down and noticed "bulky solid items" in his cargo pants
pockets.

White, 27, reportedly told the security officer that he was a Muslim
carrying prayer books. He later acknowledged he was Christian but still
refused to let security personnel touch his prayer books.

After security supervisor Lowell Brashears recommended White put the prayer
books in a tray, let the tray go through the X-ray machine and then get them
on the other side, White agreed and stepped up to the X-ray machine, court
documents said.

Officers said White then took off, ran out of the terminal and into traffic.
He was arrested soon after with the cash in his pockets.

Federal agents claim he told them that the money came from a mortgage fraud
scheme in the Kansas City area where loans were obtained using inflated
property appraisals. He declined to give more details on the alleged scheme,
the court records said.

Prosecutors since 2004 have focused on mortgage fraud rings using inflated
property appraisals. In October, real estate investor Brent Barber was
sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for being involved in a similar
scheme.

White was released on $5,000 bond and ordered to remain in the Kansas City
area. Prosecutors plan to take his case to a grand jury.

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