On Aug. 27, it was reported that 33 postal workers were charged by federal authorities in California with mail theft, embezzlement and other crimes. One of the accused postal workers allegedly was found with tens of thousands of pieces of mail in her direct possession. Of the 33 who were charged, six had arrest warrants issued for them.
Prosecutors stated that theft was occurring in "bizarre" forms. For example, a 48-year-old postal worker was found with 48,000 pieces of mail in her home. Another 45-year-old postal worker was accused of taking medications out of mail that was being sent to veterans from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Another postal worker, age 43, supposedly stole money orders out of envelopes. Those who were charged were scheduled to be arraigned in Los Angeles, Riverside and Santa Ana.
A U.S. attorney stated that mail theft in Southern California had been increasing. It can lead to or facilitate other crimes, such as identity theft.
These types of federal crimes can lead to severe penalties if a conviction is obtained, including lengthy prison terms, substantial fines and probation. A convicted defendant's future job prospects could also be severely impacted. As a result, it might be advisable for people who are facing such charges to meet as soon as possible with a criminal defense attorney so that a strategy to combat the allegations can be constructed. In cases where the evidence is strong and it is a first offense, legal counsel may suggest negotiating a plea agreement with the prosecutor that would involve a guilty plea to a lesser offense in exchange for a more lenient penalty.
Source: KTLA 5, "33 SoCal Postal Workers Charged With Mail Theft, Embezzlement", Sept. 27, 2016
Source: LA Times, "USPS employees accused of hoarding parcels, stealing veterans' medication" Sept. 27, 2016