Former Postal Employee Sentenced to 25 Months For Stealing Over $130,000 in Treasury Checks from Mail

Press Release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

WASHINGTON – Shareen Wilson, 42, a former mail carrier with the United States Postal Service (“USPS”), was sentenced today to 25 months of incarceration and ordered to pay $134,416.27 in restitution 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 Honorable John D. Bates, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, presided over the sentencing. Wilson pleaded guilty on June 2, 2010, before Judge Bates to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of theft of mail by U.S. Postal Employee.

Altogether, Wilson and the other members of the stolen check scheme were responsible for the theft and fraudulent negotiation of more than $130,000 in stolen United States and District of Columbia treasury checks, using false and fraudulent identification documents. 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.

According to the government’s evidence, from May 2008 through February 2010, Wilson stole more than 50 United States and District of Columbia treasury checks from the USPS River Terrace Carrier Annex in Northeast Washington, 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 a co-conspirator. The co-conspirator 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. The co-conspirator obtained the fake and fraudulent identification documents from an individual known as the “ID Dude.”

The co-conspirator 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, the co-conspirator paid Wilson a portion of the proceeds of the checks, ranging from $200 to $850 per check.

In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the outstanding investigative work of agents of the USPS Office of Inspector General, Special Agent Derek Savoy of the D.C. Office of Inspector General, Postal Inspector Christopher Saunders 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 prosecuted the case.