USPS Employees Face Federal Indictments for Fraud
In the midst of trying to reduce costs and renew its business model, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) recently has had five of its former employees indicted or sentenced for alleged fraudulent actions against USPS and its services.
Marvis Charles Box, 67, of Converse, Texas, allegedly stole about $478,000 worth of USPS equipment according the Western District of Texas’ U.S. Attorney’s Office. Box, who was arrested May 13, was charged with three counts of theft of government property.
The USPS contract employee transferred mail to and from the Canyon Lake, Texas post office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office indicated, but on three separate occasions in late 2013, he allegedly stole mail transportation equipment and sold it, pocketing an estimated $478,000, which the government is seeking in forfeiture. If he is found guilty, Box could face up to 30 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Earlier this year, Robert Giulietti, 57, of Cheshire, Conn., pled guilty to bribery, wire fraud and tax charges. He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years behind bars May 30, according to the Connecticut Post.
Giulietti, a USPS facilities project manager at a Connecticut-based office, reviewed bids and selected contractors for USPS work, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut. He admitted to authorities that he accepted $89,000 from two contractors in exchange for choosing their inflated bids. Additionally, he formed MGC LLC and directed 150 overpriced contracts to his company between 2009 and 2011. By then hiring other contractors to do the work for less, he generated about $982,000 for himself.
“This defendant was a corrupt federal employee who perpetrated a multifaceted and brazen scheme that defrauded the Postal Service of nearly a million dollars,” Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, said in a statement. “I commend the USPS Office of Inspector General, the Connecticut FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation for their excellent work in this investigation, which included the seizure of significant assets of approximately $740,000 in cash and a house in Cheshire.”
In addition to jail time, Giulietti agreed to pay about $882,000 in restitution and about $291,000 in back tax penalties and interest, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Aside from stealing from within the USPS, some postal workers have been accused of stealing from USPS customers. A mailman in Cantonsville, Md., allegedly stole 20,000 pieces of mail, according to The Baltimore Sun. The investigation into Jeffrey Shipley, who has been a postal worker since 1993, began after an Internet hotline received a tip that indicated he was stealing bags of mail that included jewelry, DVDs, passports, letters, magazines, Netflix videos and even a Mother’s Day card. After an investigation, He was charged with mail theft and destruction of mail in late May, according to CBS Baltimore.
Some employees were more selective, only taking pieces of mail containing checks and money orders. A former USPS employee was charged Tuesday with stealing more than $33,000 in checks from mailed envelopes, according to the Sun Sentinel. As a Florida postal-support employee, Ainsley J. Holas allegedly swiped the checks last year. She and a non-employee then are believed to have deposited the checks, worth $33,109, to a bank account via various South Florida ATMs. The pair allegedly split the proceeds and used the funds to go shopping.
Meanwhile in Birmingham, Ala., a former employee was sentenced for pilfering more than $27,000 in money orders and other postal funds, according to the Alabama Media Group. Germaine Foster, 36, of Birmingham, was sentenced to five years of probation, including six months of home detention, after pleading guilty to various counts of theft. He also must pay $27,650 in restitution.