A postal worker at USPS’s Utica Avenue Post Office in Brooklyn has been arrested for allegedly stealing $3 million worth of postal money orders, unemployment benefit cards and more than $42,000 in cash.
Jaleesa Wallace, 30, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with stealing 10,000 blank postal money orders in February, which were reported missing from the Utica Avenue post office, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Jacquelyn M. Kasulis said.
The postal money orders can be deposited with a bank for up to $1,000 each.
Earlier this month, agents found more than 3,000 of the stolen postal money orders in Wallace’s Brownsville home and approximately 300 in alleged co-conspirator Willie Cook’s home. Cook was arrested and released on a $25,000 bond.
At least $1.4 million worth of the stolen postal money orders had been cashed, Kasulis said. Agents also recovered prepaid Department of Labor unemployment benefit cards and over $42,000 in cash from both apartments.
Agents also found around 42 pieces of mail from the Department of Labor at Wallace’s home that were not in her name. Cook posted photos of stolen postal money orders on the social media app Telegram with the caption “let’s eat,” Kasulis said.
“As alleged, the defendant, a trusted public servant, pilfered thousands of postal money orders from the Postal Service and had in her possession Department of Labor unemployment benefit cards, giving her and her co-conspirator access to more than $3 million in cash,” Kasulis said.
“This Office will vigorously prosecute government employees who exploit their positions for personal gain and abuse the public trust.”
USPS-OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Modafferi said the Special Agents of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, who were involved in the investigation, help to maintain the integrity of the postal service and its personnel.
“When a Postal Service employee breaks the trust of the American public and participates in schemes to defraud the government, our agents will work tirelessly to help bring those responsible to justice,” Modafferi said.
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