A Silver Spring man admitted to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a scheme at the parking lot of the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA, The Washington Post reports.
Meseret Terefe, 36, entered a guilty plea in federal court Sept. 28 saying that he stole $400,000 between March 2009 and July 2012, the Post reported. He is expected to be sentenced Dec. 14, according to news reports.
Terefe was part of a group of employees that cheated the parking lot by disabling the electronic vehicle counter the parking lot used to tally vehicles that drove through entry gates and pocketing the fees. He said that he was brought into the scheme by a co-worker and eventually began paying off a manager.
Hidden cameras helped detect the theft.
Federal court records said Terefe could collect as much as $4,470 a day, the Post reported. He said that he saved some of the money and invested some in commercial property in Ethiopia, the Post reported.