3 Postal Workers Accused Of Stealing From The “Operation Santa” Program Like A Bunch Of Grinches

Wherever you have people trying to do something good for others, you’ll inevitably have others trying to twist that effort for their own benefit. There’s not always a name for these greedy people, but in the case of three postal workers accused of rigging the “Operation Santa” program, the word “Grinch” is pretty darn fitting.

According to authorities, three employees stole laptop computers, a toy train, boots and other presents that were supposed to be for underprivileged children by rigging the program where they worked, reports the Associated Press.

Court papers unsealed Wednesday as the three suspects were arrested said postal workers at the huge James A. Farley Post Office in Manhattan basically just took whatever they wanted during the 2013 holiday season.

A U.S. Postal Service agent says in the complaint that the three workers worked their scheme between November 2013 and January 2014, writing fake letters to rake in gifts, and even allegedly replaced underprivileged kids’ addresses with their own to get the gifts delivered directly.

The postal agent said one of the workers confessed in February to pretending to be a child writing letters, and having two others copy those fakes 20 times each. He ended up with a printer, two laptop computers, two tablet computers, clothing, gift cards and more… again, instead of a needy child getting those gifts.

The agent said he also confessed to putting his own address on the shipping line in the Operation Santa database for packages about 50 times, effectively stealing from 50 children.

The others allegedly confessed to similar actions, even involving family members in the fake letter-writing scheme.

Secret Santas provided gifts for fewer than half of the 7,000 letters processed by postal workers, from more than 300,000 letters written to Santa by children across the country who were hoping for something from Santa.

Federal charges against the three include conspiracy and mail fraud. And if guilty, they’re already doomed to having hearts that are two sizes too small.

3 postal workers accused of rigging Operation Santa program [Associated Press]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.