Bribed Court Clerk Alters Criminal Records
MARCH 14, 2007
Illustrating the vulnerability of airport security, a court clerk has been arrested for taking cash bribes to alter criminal records so that a convict could pass a federal background check to get a job at a major U.S. airport.
The Newark New Jersey Municipal Court Clerk, Louis March, used his position to eliminate from official court records the criminal offense of a candidate seeking a job at New York’s LaGuardia airport. March created a document that featured the court’s official seal and said a pending drug charge against the individual had been dropped. In exchange, he received $4,000 in cash from what turned out to be an undercover agent.
Additionally, the corrupt court employee said his services included making a phone call to the Department of Homeland Security on the criminal’s behalf to assure that the background check cleared. He also offered to expedite the individual’s federal security clearance for an additional $2,000 by putting them in front of a “whole lot of people” rather than having them wait four to five months.
March has been federally charged with extortion under color of official right and could go to jail for two decades and be ordered to pay a $250,000 fine. A grand jury indictment is expected soon but no word from government officials on the number of criminals he helped clear to obtain airport jobs.
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