Postal workers are accused of stealing credit cards from the mail in a plot to splurge on high-end luxury goods.
Federal officials in New York charged nine individuals, including three postal workers, in connection with the “years-long” million-dollar fraud and identity theft scheme, according to the Department of Justice.
On Sept. 29, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York unsealed multiple charges against the individuals, including conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Four have been arrested while five remain at large, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated “the defendants took advantage of the public trust we place in U.S. Postal Service employees for their own financial gain.”
The scheme, which began in late 2018, comprised three parts, officials said.
First, three postal workers, Fabiola Mompoint, aka “Lady Fab,” Nathanael Foucault and Johnathan Persaud, stole credit cards from the mail and activated them using stolen personally identifiable information, according to the release.
Second, five individuals known to investigators as “the Shoppers,” including Conrad Heron, aka “Conny Cash,” used the stolen information to fuel a luxury shopping spree, according to the release. Goods from high-end retailers, including Chanel, Fendi and Hermes, in major department stores throughout the tri-state area were acquired.
Finally, the ninth individual, Johnny Damus, sold the goods on LuxurySnob.com, an online consignment store. Over the years, the criminal syndicate heisted more than $1.3 million and stole “hundreds of identities,” according to the release.
Representatives for LuxurySnob.com did not immediately responded to McClatchy News’ request for comment.
If convicted, the individuals could face up to decades in prison. One of the five charges, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, carries a maximum term of 30 years.
Representatives for the U.S. Postal Service did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment, but the Office of the Inspector General website states that “the overwhelming majority of Postal Service employees work conscientiously to move the nation’s mail to its proper destination. Unfortunately, a small number of employees abuse the public’s trust by delaying or stealing the mail.”
The office conducted 1,472 mail theft investigations last year, resulting in 453 arrests, according to its website.
There are over 300,000 Postal Service mail carriers in the U.S., according to an estimate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.