(STL.News) – A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee was arrested today for stealing mail and committing bank fraud, including stealing checks sent through the mail and fraudulently depositing those checks without authorization, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Juan Torres, 27, of Hackensack, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of bank fraud and one count of mail theft. He is scheduled to appear/appeared this afternoon via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From November 2019 to Jan. 11, 2020, certain checks addressed to third-party victims and mailed to addresses on postal routes in Hackensack, Leonia, and Maywood, New Jersey, were stolen on or about the same dates that Torres was delivering mail on those routes and subsequently were fraudulently deposited by Torres, in New Jersey and elsewhere, into a bank account that he controlled.
The bank fraud charge is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. The mail theft charge is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi, Northeast Area Field Office, and postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James Buthorn, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez, and the Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew McKay, for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine K. Lou of the Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.