At a time when the U.S. Postal Service is facing record budget deficits and defaults, they’ve found a number of their employees stealing people’s money through the mail. Recently, 2 postal workers pleaded guilty of stealing millions of dollars worth of government checks with the help of 4 others not employed by the USPS. Over 1,300 treasury checks, social security checks, tax refunds and veteran benefits checks were stolen and cashed using fake IDs. The scheme originated in an Atlanta mail distribution center as reported by the Washington Guardian:
“Gerald Eason, 47, pled guilty to stealing more than 1,300 checks while working at the postal facility. His accomplice, mail handler Deborah Fambro-Echols, 49, has also pled guilty. The two employees pled guilty to conspiracy and theft of government money. Eason pleaded guilty to several other charges including possession of stolen Treasury checks. There’s a wide range of jail time they could be serving. Each charge carries anywhere from five to 30 years in prison.”
The USPS’s Office of Inspector General tried to downplay the theft ring:
“Eason and Fambro-Echols reflect just a very small percentage of employees who failed to uphold the trust and integrity placed in them. The majority of Postal Service employees are honest, hardworking, and committed to providing the timely and reliable service that customers expect and deserve.”
But these two weren’t the only ones guilty of theft. They’re two of 171 employees that were arrested for theft just between April and September of this year.
In Chicago earlier this week, there was a postal worker that was found guilty of stealing over 30,000 donations directed at a charity organization. Together, they were worth over $275,000. According to the Washington Examiner, Frederick Taylor is now looking at jail time and restitution:
“Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve imposed the 30-month sentence and ordered Taylor to make restitution in the amount of $275,911 to a third-party administrator to make the charity whole. The Taylor case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Service Inspector-General.”
Maybe it’s time we let other companies compete in the mail-carrying business. There would be far greater accountability in the free market than in the USPS’s current quasi-private status. Any other business with the USPS’s financial insolvency would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.