A female Tanzanian fashion designer based in Houston alleged Wednesday that clothing worn by former Department of Energy (DOE) official Sam Brinton had been contained in her luggage that she reported missing in Washington, D.C., in 2018.
Asya Khamsin, who has designed and hand-made her own clothing line for years, said she recently saw a report that Brinton had been charged with stealing multiple pieces of luggage across the country and noticed that the former official appeared to be wearing her clothes in several photos. Khamsin said she had packed the same clothes in a bag that vanished on March 9, 2018, at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
‘I saw the images. Those were my custom designs, which were lost in that bag in 2018,’ she told Fox News Digital in an interview. ‘He wore my clothes, which was stolen.’
Khamsin added that she had flown to Washington, D.C., to attend an event where she was invited to put her clothing on display. However, the disappearance of her bag prevented her from participating.
Shortly after the apparent theft of her bag, she and her husband filed a police report with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department, but the case was never solved. They also filed a claim with Delta Air Lines, which is the airline that she used to travel from Houston to Washington, D.C.
In communications between Khamsin and Delta Air Lines officials from March 2018 shared with Fox News Digital, Khamsin pleaded for help locating her bag, saying that it contained expensive clothes, shoes, jewelry and other personal belongings.
After seeing her clothing that resembled the ones in her lost bag in the recent media reports about Brinton, Khamsin filed a complaint with the Houston Police Department on Dec. 16. She then received a phone call regarding the complaint in late January from the FBI field office in Minneapolis, according to Khamsin’s husband.
‘Houston police, I guess, they [sent] the case to the FBI in Minnesota,’ Khamsin’s husband told Fox News Digital. ‘He called to say, ‘I’m [with] the FBI, I’m working on this case.’ Then my wife gave him the information and we didn’t hear anything. We don’t know whether the case is on. We don’t know whether the case is cold.’
The FBI declined to comment, citing its policy against confirming or denying investigations. As of publishing time, Brinton has not been charged with any crime related to Khamsin’s claims.
Meanwhile, Brinton – who was selected to serve as the DOE’s deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition over the summer – is facing significant prison time and hefty fines in relation to two separate baggage theft cases.
On Oct. 26, Minnesota prosecutors charged Brinton with stealing a suitcase worth $2,325 from a Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport baggage carousel in September. Brinton faces up to five years in prison for the alleged crime and was released without bail following a court hearing last week.
Then, in early December, Nevada prosecutors charged Brinton with grand larceny of an item valued between $1,200 and $5,000. Brinton was accused of stealing a suitcase with a total estimate worth of $3,670 on July 6 at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. Brinton was released after a judge set bail in the case at $15,000 and ordered Brinton to ‘stay out of trouble.’
In both the Minnesota and Nevada cases, Brinton had traveled on flights from Washington, D.C., before allegedly swiping the bags from the airports’ baggage carousels, according to criminal complaints.
The DOE announced on Dec. 12 that Brinton had departed the agency but wouldn’t comment on the reason for the departure after the charges in Minnesota and Nevada. A spokesperson for the DOE said the agency wasn’t allowed to comment on personnel matters.
Brinton’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.