Brockton woman convicted of embezzling almost $100,000 during USPS employment

Evesham police have reported an arrest after a spree of thefts from a mailbox at the Marlton Post Office.

BROCKTON — A Brockton woman was convicted of one count of theft of government money and three counts of wire fraud after embezzling more than $96,000 and fraudulently obtaining unemployment benefits during her time as a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts announced in a news release at the beginning of the month.

Jamesa Rankins, 27, of Brockton, was originally indicted in July of 2022. Last Wednesday, she was found guilty on all four counts.

“The public’s trust and confidence in our government is eroded when federal employees abuse their positions for personal gain. That is exactly what happened in this case,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “Ms. Rankins exploited her position to embezzle nearly $100,000 in money orders from her employer, the U.S. Postal Service, at the same time she was trying to fleece taxpayers by fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits,” he said.

Rankins, who has been working for the USPS since 2016, was most recently working as a Sales and Service Distribution Associate at the Montello Post Office on Oak Street in Brockton. While working in this capacity, Rankins generated postal money orders, including replacement money orders with zero additional fees for lost, damaged, or incorrect items.

According to the original indictment last year, Rankins issued more than $96,000 worth of replacement money orders to an unidentified individual that did not qualify as lost, damaged, or incorrect. “On at least one occasion, Rankins personally negotiated one of the replacement money orders at a check cashing business,” the news release said.

In addition to the fraudulent replacement money orders, Rankins applied for and received unemployment benefits from the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistant under false pretenses. “Rankins stole taxpayer funds intended for those Americans who lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jonathan Mellone, special agent-in-charge of the Northeast Region at the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General.

District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled Rankins' sentencing for Feb. 2, 2024.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Justice, the charge of theft of government money provides a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and an additional fine of up to $250,000.

“Today’s guilty verdict should be a stern warning to all who contemplate scamming the government. You will be identified, prosecuted and held accountable,” said Levy.

This article originally appeared on The Enterprise: Brockton USPS employee Jamesa Rankins convicted of wire fraud, theft