USPS employee pleads guilty to taking gift cards, feds say

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A former Postal Service employee has pleaded guilty to taking Costco and Amazon gift cards from someone else’s birthday card, the Justice Department said.

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A birthday card that was supposed to be filled with gift cards was empty when a man opened it, the Justice Department said.

An old Mail processing clerk pleaded guilty on Wednesday, Jan. 26, to taking Costco and Amazon gift cards from someone else’s mail, the Justice Department said.

He faces up to five years in prison and could be ordered to pay a fine of $250,000.

On March 26, a customer with a lockable mailbox in Missoula, Montana reported that items had been stolen from his birthday card, officials said.

“The sender confirmed that she sent the card on March 20, 2021 from Whitefish and that it contained a $200 gift card to Costco, two $100 gift cards to Amazon, and $40 cash,” the Justice Department said in a news release.

At the time, the man worked as a mail processing clerk and had spent hours manually sorting through letters, authorities said.

“An investigation determined that (the man) presented his Costco membership card and gift card to make a purchase at Costco in Missoula and presented his receipt to a Costco employee upon exiting,” officials said. .

The man will be sentenced in US District Court on June 1.

“The vast majority of Postal Service employees are honest, hard-working public servants,” Eric Thomas, Deputy Special Agent in Charge of the USPS, told McClatchy News in an email. “However, if anyone abuses their position for personal gain, the (Office of the Postal Service Inspector General) will aggressively investigate these matters to ensure the integrity of the U.S. Postal Service.”

This story was originally published January 27, 2022 4:23 p.m.

Maddie Capron is a real-time McClatchy reporter specializing in the outdoors and wildlife in the western United States. She graduated from Ohio University and previously worked at CNN, the Idaho Statesman and the Ohio Center for Investigative Journalism.

Michael N. Clark