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US Postal Service fraud scheme involved nearly $5M in losses, more than 80 charged

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More than 80 people have been charged in a scheme in which the suspects deposited checks stolen through the U.S. Postal Service into various bank accounts, totaling nearly $5 million in losses in a widespread mail theft operation, authorities said Friday.

The fraud scheme began in 2018 when people deposited altered checks stolen from the mail into "numerous" bank accounts, said Carroll Harris, the inspector in charge of the Los Angeles division of the U.S.

Postal Inspection Service. "The suspects would swiftly withdraw the money before the financial institutions discovered the checks were forged," he said during a news briefing to announce the charges. "This investigation identified hundreds of victims across California." A U.S.

Postal Service (USPS) trucks sit at a post office facility in Elkridge, Maryland. Authorities in California said more than 80 people have been charged in connection with stealing nearly $5 million in a fraud scheme involving the mail. (Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images) The ringleaders behind the operation recruited people on social media to open bank accounts or use their own accounts to deposit the fraudulent checks, authorities said.

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