WASHINGTON – Shareen Wilson, 42, a former mail carrier with the United States Postal Service (“USPS”), pleaded guilty this afternoon to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud,in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1349, and one count of Theft of Mail by U.S. PostalEmployee, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1709, for her role in a scheme to steal United States and District of Columbia treasury checks from the mail and cash them at local check cashing
establishments using fake identification documents, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced. The plea hearing was presided over by the Honorable John D. Bates, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Sentencing is scheduled for August 12, 2010, where Wilson faces between 33 and 41 months of incarceration under the voluntary federal sentencing guidelines. As part of her plea, Wilson also agreed to pay $134,416.27 in restitution.
According to the government’s evidence, from May 2008 through February 2010, Wilson stole over 50 United States and District of Columbia treasury checks from the USPS River Terrace Carrier Annex, where she was assigned. These checks had been mailed by the United States and District of Columbia governments to intended recipients in Washington, D.C. Many of these checks had been entrusted to Wilson’s custody for delivery on her own postal route. Others had been stolen by Wilson from boxes assigned to other mail carriers.
After removing the checks from the USPS River Terrace Carrier Annex, Wilson provided them to co-conspirator S.D. S.D. recruited various individuals (referred to as “cashers”) to cash the stolen treasury checks using fake and fraudulent identification documents, including fake District of Columbia driver’s licenses bearing the photographs of the cashers but the names and addresses of the intended recipients of the treasury checks. S.D. obtained the fake and fraudulent identification documents from an individual known as the “ID Dude.” S.D. had at least eight cashers working for him directly or indirectly. The cashers generally cashed the stolen checks at local liquor stores. In exchange for providing stolen United States and District of Columbia treasury checks to S.D., S.D. paid Wilson a portion of the proceeds of the checks, ranging from $200 to $850 per check.
Altogether, Wilson and the other members of the stolen check scheme were responsible for the theft and fraudulent negotiation of over $130,000 in stolen United States and District of Columbia treasury checks. More than 50 individuals and businesses were victimized by the scheme,either because their mail was stolen or because they sustained an economic loss by cashing the checks.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the outstanding investigative work of agents of the USPS Office of Inspector General, Special Agent Derek Savoy of the District of Columbia Office of Inspector General, agents of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, agents of the U.S. Secret Service, and Detective Michael Pavero of the Metropolitan Police Department. U.S. Attorney Machen also praised the efforts of members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Legal Assistant Jamasee Lucas, Paralegal Specialists Sarah Reis and Mary Treanor,and Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Johnson and Ellen Chubin Epstein, who are prosecuting the case.