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Ex-Brinks employee guilty in embezzlement of $110,000

A former Brinks employee was found guilty yesterday of embezzling $110,000 that had been destined for a suburban bank.

A former Brinks employee was found guilty yesterday of embezzling $110,000 that had been destined for a suburban bank.

Tanika Victory Little, 36, was employed as a messenger for the armored car company in 2011 when she twice "came into possession of incorrectly routed bags of cash," federal prosecutors said.

On Feb. 15, 2011, Little received sealed bags of $20 bills that were to be delivered to the Bank of America branch in Drexel Hill. One of the bags, containing $18,000, failed to make it to the bank though Little marked it as having been delivered. On March 1, 2011,  another sealed bag of $20 bills, this time totaling $92,000 went missing in transit. Again, Little marked it in a manifest as having been delivered to the Drexel Hill branch, according to court documents.

Employees at the branch soon discovered the money was missing. An investigation traced the missing cash to deliveries that had been made by Little.

Little, who made $41,000 a year from her Brinks job, had gone on a spending spree, according to court documents.

She paid down her car loan and paid off liens on her South Philadelphia house. She deposited $41,840 – all in $20 bills - into three different bank accounts during the spring of 2011. On June 29, 2011, she purchased 27 money orders, totaling about $13,000 from eight different stores in South Philadelphia. She paid for home improvements, including the rebricking of her home at 20th and Opal Streets, with $25,000 in cash. When a Secret Service agent questioned Little about her spending, she claimed the money was income from a part-time security job or won in a state lottery. Authorities could find no evidence of the second job or lottery winnings, according to court papers.

After a grand jury indicted Little on embezzlement charges in September 2012, she was ordered to surrender two Glock firearms she owned to the Secret Service.

In defiance of the court order, she tried to sell them to city gun shops. The shops refused to accept the firearms due to defaced serial numbers. One of the store owners reported Little to the state Attorney General's office. On top of the embezzlement charges, she was charged on weapons counts, according to court documents.

A federal jury in Philadelphia found Little guilty of two counts of bank theft and one count of possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

When she is sentenced in June, Little faces up to 3 years in prison, a fine of up to $2.1 million, and up to five years of supervised release.