NYC Mailman Accused Of Stealing More Than $1M In Tax Refunds In Years-Long Scheme

Is there some kind of greedy bug sweeping through the New York City mail system? Okay, probably not, but for the second time in two months a postal employee has been charged by federal prosecutors with taking part in a scheme to pad their own pockets. The most recent case involves a mail carrier who allegedly stole more than $1 million in tax refunds.

The Associated Press reports that a 36-year-old Brooklyn man was charged with conspiracy and theft of government funds for his part in “delivering” bogus tax refunds to himself.

According to investigators, the mail carrier and his accomplices would file false tax returns using Social Security numbers for Puerto Rico residents they believed were unlikely to file on their own. These returns used addresses along the postal employee’s delivery route in the Bronx, allowing him to easily intercept the refund check

He and his fellow fraudsters would then deposit the checks into their own bank accounts.

“As a taxpayer and a United States Postal Service employee, I find the allegations against the defendant disturbing,” Philip Bartlett, Inspector-in-Charge of the New York office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, tells USA Today. “I have little tolerance for those who would use their position of trust to facilitate criminal activity, as is alleged in this investigation.”

Last month, three postal workers were arrested and accused of allegedly rigging the postal service’s “Operation Santa” program that provides gifts to underprivileged children. A U.S. Postal Service agent says that the three employees 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.

Feds: NYC Mailman’s Scheme Delivers $1M in Bogus Tax Refunds [The Associated Press]
Mailman charged with stealing $1M in IRS refunds [USA Today]