The latest arrest of disgraced former Department of Energy official Sam Binton for airport baggage theft stems from the theft of luggage from an East African fashion designer, after the designer saw photos of Brinton wearing his own bespoke clothes.
Brinton, who identifies as non-binary and uses the pronouns they/them, was arrested Wednesday at his home in Maryland in connection with the alleged theft of property from Reagan National Airport in northern Virginia.
Brinton, 35, is being held without bail at the Montgomery County Detention Center, pending extradition to Virginia to face robbery charges.
Now Tanzanian-American fashion designer Asyakhamsin has said through her lawyer that she filed the report with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police (MWAA) which resulted in Brinton’s latest arrest – their third for similar charges.
Attorney Peter C. Hansen told DailyMail.com on Friday that his client “provided the MWAA with images of Mr. Brinton wearing his bespoke designs and lost jewelry, along with comparison photos showing them on mannequins. and Asyakhamsin herself”.
Hansen said during a search of Brinton’s Rockville home on Wednesday, police “found a number of items that matched the descriptions and images provided by Asyakhamsin.”
Tanzanian-American fashion designer Asyakhamsin (above) says she filed a police complaint after seeing former Energy Ministry official Sam Binton wearing her stolen clothes
Brinton (seen in 2019 in a suspected stolen outfit) was arrested at his home in Maryland on Wednesday in connection with the alleged theft of property from Reagan National Airport
The lawyer noted that his client’s luggage, stolen on March 9, 2018, contained “over a dozen bespoke garments she had designed, as well as a number of other valuables for her business “.
“Asyakhamsin’s belongings were badly damaged by this loss, which remained a mystery until she was recently alerted by photos of Sam Brinton carrying items from her lost luggage,” Hansen said.
The lawyer said Asyakhamsin was “leaving his options open” for a civil action against Brinton, but had not yet filed a complaint.
“Some public images of Mr. Brinton in Asyakhamsin’s designs have been widely published, including on the Italian Vanity Fair website,” Hansen said, noting that his client’s designs were “displayed without attribution in many other publications” while carried by Brinton.
“Asyakhamsin is a black and Muslim immigrant entrepreneur, and she has built a distinguished career over forty years,” he added. “She deserves credit for her works.”
In February, a shocked Asyakhamsin went public with her allegations, saying her suitcase went missing from the Reagan National in 2018 and she had since seen photos of Brinton wearing her custom designs.
The Houston-based fashion guru shared side-by-side photos of herself wearing one of her outfits alongside a photo of Brinton in what she believed to be the same item of clothing.
Asyakhamsin’s luggage containing the outfits she accused Brinton of being photographed in went missing at the airport when she flew to Washington, DC in 2018 for a fashion event.
The outfits were supposed to be on display, but the designer said at the time that she couldn’t attend the event as she had hoped after her luggage went missing.
Brinton in an earlier mugshot. They have now been arrested three times for stealing women’s suitcases from airports
Brinton was fired as deputy undersecretary for spent fuel and waste disposal at the Office of Nuclear Energy in December 2022 after he was twice accused of stealing luggage from airports.
In October 2022, Brinton was charged with felony theft after allegedly stealing a woman’s suitcase from Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport the month before.
In December 2022, new charges emerged following the theft of a woman’s luggage at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas in July 2022.
In the Minnesota case, Brinton participated in a diversion program and agreed to undergo a mental health evaluation to avoid jail time, and had to write an apology to the victim, return the stolen items and participate in three days of community service.
Last month, Brinton did not contest the Las Vegas charges and was given a 180-day suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay the Las Vegas victim $3,670.
Sam Brinton (pictured left at Starbucks in West Hollywood in October 2019) appeared to be wearing Brinton’s unique designs
Brinton is seen left at an event on June 11, 2018 in an outfit that Khamsin said resembled one of the outfits that went missing with her luggage in March 2018, similar to the design seen on the right
Brinton was arrested Wednesday at their home in Maryland. Their husband Kevin (left in February) was kept in the house while Brinton was taken away in handcuffs
In the latest incident, airport police said the matter first came to their attention in February, the same time Khamsin went public with his allegations.
A police spokesperson told DailyMail.com: ‘Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police executed a search warrant on May 17 in Montgomery County, Maryland in connection with allegations of theft of property in baggage from Reagan National Airport that came to the department’s attention in February 2023.’
“With the assistance of Montgomery County Police, Samuel Otis Brinton, 35, of Rockville, Maryland, was taken into custody on Wednesday pending charges from Grand Larceny,” the official said.
Initial reports said Brinton was being held in Maryland as a “fugitive from justice,” although that appears to refer to the out-of-state charges from Virginia, which will require extradition.