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Uh-Oh At Uncle Sam's Money Factory

An employee at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing appeared in federal court Monday on charges he stole 10 sheets of $100 bills and used them to gamble at casinos in three states.

David C. Faison, of Largo, Md., distributed paper stock at the bureau's printing facility in Washington, D.C., which gave him access to the area where sheets of bills are printed, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit.

Most of the sheets he is accused of stealing contained 32 uncut, partially printed $100 bills. The money appeared normal, but it was missing serial numbers and Treasury Department seals, authorities said.

Faison appeared in U.S. District Court, where he waived a preliminary hearing and was released on his own recognizance. If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in prison or a $250,000 fine.

He said little during the brief appearance before Magistrate Judge Alan Kay, who ordered him released on several conditions: that he stay out of trouble with the law, submit to random drug testing and remain within a 50-mile radius of Washington.

Faison nodded and replied "yes" when asked if he understood the conditions of his release.

For a two-month period beginning in late May, 145 partially printed bills passed through the Midway Slots, Dover Downs Slots and Delaware Park casinos in Delaware; Bally's and Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, N.J.; and the Charles Town Races and Slots in Charles Town, W.Va. The bills appeared to have been cut with scissors.

In July, surveillance videos show Faison sitting at slot machines, and records show that the stolen bills were inserted into the machines during those times, according to the affidavit. At one point, three of the $100 bills were inserted within 19 seconds.

A search of Faison's home Thursday resulted in the recovery of some of the stolen bills, which were hidden in wrapping paper in Faison's bedroom closet, the affidavit said.

A date has not been set for Faison's next court appearance. Faison, who is 56, worked at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for more than 30 years and has no prior record.