- The Washington Times - Friday, April 20, 2001

Federal prosecutors have joined an investigation into a bungled attempt to steal at least $30,000 in new currency from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, The Washington Times has learned.
The bureau executive at the center of the probe, Thomas M. Janney, resigned last week. Mr. Janney, 45, had been on paid leave from his post as chief of currency production.
Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorneys Office for the District, confirmed that prosecutors are examining the evidence compiled by the Secret Service and the agencys own police force.
"Its in our shop now," Mr. Phillips said Tuesday. He declined to comment further about the matter, including what kind of charges, if any, could be filed by federal prosecutors or whether a grand jury would hear evidence and consider charges.
The Times first reported March 10 that federal authorities were investigating Mr. Janney in connection with the disappearance of $30,000 from a Bureau of Engraving and Printing vault in mid-February. The money later was discovered in a brown envelope in an auditorium at the facility in Southwest.
Mr. Janney, who lives with his wife and children in Damascus, admitted involvement to investigators March 8, law enforcement sources and a Treasury Department source previously told The Times.
Mr. Janney was banned from the building, placed on paid leave and has not been allowed in since. He resigned April 11, bureau spokesman Larry Felix said Tuesday.
When reached by telephone Tuesday at his home in Damascus, Mr. Janney declined to comment, repeatedly saying, "No comment."
Mr. Felix said he could not discuss any aspects of the investigation, such as when it is expected to be wrapped up or whether the bureau had implemented new security procedures. He also refused to answer questions about whether other bureau employees are suspects.
Investigators, however, are looking at the possible involvement of at least one other.
A complex system of accounting procedures and security controls means that an employee attempting to steal currency probably would need at least one accomplice, bureau and law enforcement sources said.
As head of currency production, Mr. Janney was authorized to enter restricted areas, but he often disregarded established security protocols, several bureau sources told The Times.
The Treasury Department oversees the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which designs and prints currency, Federal Reserve notes, Treasury securities, postage stamps, identification cards, certificates and other security documents. The agency, which employs about 2,500 workers, has a budget of $641 million.
Mr. Janney, as a GS-15 federal employee, was paid a salary of $87,800 to $114,200, bureau records show. He had been chief of the currency production office since September 1998 and began working at the bureau as a bookbinder more than 15 years ago.
The bureaus most embarrassing currency scandal erupted in 1994, when a bank in Maryland alerted authorities to suspicious deposits made by a bureau engineer. That engineer, Robert P. Schmitt Jr., was charged with stealing $1.69 million in $100 bills, the largest theft in the agencys history. The Annapolis man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 27 months in prison.
Since then, authorities have uncovered a series of more minor currency thefts by employees.
In 1996, four employees pleaded guilty to theft charges. In 1997, unfinished $100 bills showed up at a casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Later that year, someone stole $6,000 in $20 bills from the bureau.

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