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Ship's former purser charged with theft in Va.

Thursday - 10/17/2013, 5:50pm  ET

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- A Navy supply ship's former purser is charged with stealing more than $350,000 from the vessel's safe.

The Virginian-Pilot reports (http://bit.ly/H3LLp2 ) that 65-year-old Ismael Estrada surrendered his passport and was released to his son's custody Wednesday in federal court in Norfolk. He faces one count of theft of government property.

According to court papers, Estrada served as the Arctic's purser from 2006 through March 2013. He had access to the safe containing cash for operation expenses and to pay the 170 civilian crew members.

The missing money was noticed after Estrada transferred to another ship and a new pursuer was assigned to the Arctic. Navy investigators found Estrada's fingerprints on cash bundles with $100 bills on the outside and smaller denominations inside.

Estrada told investigators he didn't steal the money.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com


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