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Customs agent convicted of stealing $5K from passenger at O’Hare

Sun-Times file photo

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent has been convicted of stealing $5,000 from an overseas passenger at O’Hare International Airport last year.

Salvatore Picardi, 38, was convicted Wednesday of one count of embezzlement by a federal officer under color of law after a three-day jury trial, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Picardi took the cash on Feb. 22, 2016 from a passenger who arrived at O’Hare on a flight from China, prosecutors said. The woman noticed her money was missing when the customs inspection ended and she was allowed to leave.

As other officers began searching for the money, Picardi tried to avoid being caught by stuffing the cash into a jacket belonging to the woman and claiming he had discovered it, prosecutors said.

However, the jacket had been searched multiple times prior to Picardi’s “discovery,” prosecutors said.

Picardi, of Park Ridge, faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin on Dec. 12.