The following is a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, Northern District of Alabama:
BIRMINGHAM – A vehicle maintenance supervisor for the U.S. Postal Service pleaded guilty today in federal court to conspiring to defraud the Postal Service of more than $300,000 in a billing kick-back scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, Postal Service Office of Inspector General, Major Fraud Investigations Division, Special Agent in Charge Torri Piper, and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Reginael McDaniel.
CEDRIC NALLS, 42, of Birmingham, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Inge P. Johnson. Nalls agreed to pay $330,000 in restitution to the Postal Service. His sentencing is scheduled Aug. 31.
Nalls, a supervisor at the Postal Service Vehicle Maintenance Facility in Birmingham, and vendors William Mark Payton, 44, of Bessemer, and Allen Joseph Law, 38, of Birmingham, were charged in March in connection to the scheme to submit fraudulent invoices and to conceal payment on the false invoices. Payton and Law each pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in May.
“The United States Postal Service trusted Nalls to honestly select and manage the private vendors who repaired and maintained the fleet of Postal Service vehicles in Birmingham,” Vance said. “Instead, Nalls abused that trust and conspired with two vendors to steal about $330,000 through repeated deception over a three-year period. But, as with other abusers of positions of public trust, Nalls will be punished for his greed,” she said.
According to court records, Nalls, Payton and Law conducted their conspiracy as follows:
Payton owned Bill Payton Automotive, and Law owned The Paint House, both vendors who provided maintenance and repair work on Postal Service vehicles through its maintenance facility in Birmingham.
Nalls, as a maintenance supervisor, had access to credit card numbers assigned to postal vehicles and provided the numbers to venders so they could request payment from the Houston company that managed billing for the facility. The company, U.S. Bank Voyager Fleet Systems Inc., would pay the vendors by mailing them checks or making direct deposits into the vendors’ bank accounts. The Postal Service paid Voyager for money it sent to vendors.
Nalls arranged with Payton and Law to provide them with vehicle credit card numbers so they could seek payment for work never done. They would return a portion of those payments to Nalls after receiving them in their bank accounts.
Nalls faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge.
Payton and Law face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on their conspiracy charge.
The U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, and IRS, Criminal Investigation, investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney George Martin is prosecuting the case.