When the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) learned that a postal employee was possibly involved in the theft of U.S. Treasury checks from the mail, the agency’s special agents began investigating immediately. Investigators from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, and Veterans Affairs also joined the investigation.

Investigators worked with a cooperating witness to pursue the postal employee who was suspected of stealing several million dollars in government checks. In March 2012, the witness paid the postal employee $3,000, which was his share of the 396 U.S. Treasury checks stolen from the mail. During surveillance, OIG special agents and postal inspectors observed the employee leave a postal facility carrying a black bag. The employee left the bag outside the residence of the cooperating witness where it was recovered by investigators. The black bag contained 832 U.S. Treasury checks taken from the mail. Special agents arrested the postal employee, who admitted to the thefts. It was later determined that the employee stole approximately 1,200 checks valued at $3.5 million.

The postal employee pleaded guilty in December 2012 to several charges involving Theft of Government Money, Possession of Stolen Treasury Checks, Conspiracy, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Bank Fraud. On February 27, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia sentenced the postal employee to 87 months in prison, 3 years’ supervised release, 100 hours of community service, a $15,000 fine, and a $700 special assessment.