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Investigative Press Release

Former Mail Carrier Charged with Bank Fraud, ID Theft

LOS ANGELES – A former United States Postal Service mail carrier was indicted today by a federal grand jury for her role in a scheme that allegedly defrauded banks out of more than $200,000 via the theft of debit cards containing unemployment insurance benefits from her mail route and giving them to a co-schemer in exchange for cash payments and gifts.

Toya Toshell Hunter, 44, of South Los Angeles, was charged in a 20-count superseding indictment returned today along with lead defendant Michalea Latise Barksdale, a.k.a. “Miichii Bee,” 33, of Corona, whom a federal grand jury previously indicted in December 2021.

If convicted, Hunter and Barksdale would face statutory maximum sentences of 30 years in federal prison for each bank fraud count and 15 years in federal prison for the count of debit card fraud exceeding $1,000 in losses, plus a mandatory two-year prison sentence for aggravated identity theft. Hunter would face up to five years in federal prison for each count of embezzling mail by a postal employee. Barksdale would face up to five years in federal prison for possession of stolen mail.

The United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, and the United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration are investigating this matter.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.