Mail Clerk Embezzles $24 Million From USPS In Four Month Mail Fraud Scheme

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mail fraud
Photo Credit: Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

A Charlotte-based postal worker was allegedly involved in embezzling over $24 million from the United States Postal Service (USPS), while working with two accomplices in a check selling scheme.

The suspect, Nakedra Shannon, age 29, purportedly pilfered incoming and outgoing checks within a mail processing distribution center in Charlotte.

According to the Charlotte Observer, Shannon held the position of a mail processing clerk at the center from March 2021 to July 2023, but the scheme only lasted four months.

Donnell Gardner, 27, and Desiray Carter, 24, were identified as the other two individuals embroiled in the case. They stand accused of advertising pilfered checks, with a collective value totaling $12 million, on the Telegram Channels app.

Their federal indictment documents by the U.S. District Court indicated that Treasury checks worth around $8 million were also  misappropriated by the thieves.

The check stealing scheme took place between April and July of this year and it is believed that the trio amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars in ill-gotten gains.

As a result, they face charges of conspiracy to commit financial institution fraud, which has a potential sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

Additionally, they have been charged with theft of government property, each carrying a ten-year sentence, according to the US Attorney’s Office. Following an initial court appearance on Friday, the defendants were released on bond.

Mail fraud is a commonly occurring criminal offense, though not often to the vast dollar amount Shannon and her crew.

Former Cape Coral resident Devin Ryan Maresca has recently been sentenced to three years in federal prison for his involvement in mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.

The sentence was handed down by Senior U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington in late November. The judge also instituted a forfeiture order for $74,700, which represents the proceeds from Maresca’s fraudulent mail scheme.

Following a three-day trial that concluded on August 23, Maresca was found guilty of the charges.

Evidence presented during the trial revealed that Maresca filed over 2,200 fraudulent claims for indemnity with the United States Postal Service (USPS).

These claims alleged that packages he had sent or received through Priority Mail had been damaged. Most of the claims were submitted under the names of Maresca’s mother, father, and brother.

To further deceive authorities, Maresca forged their signatures on the back of the USPS claims checks, depositing them into a personal bank account under his control.

He tried covering his tracks by opening UPS Store and Pak-Mail Store mailboxes in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Punta Gorda, where the checks were mailed.

As a result of his fraudulent activities, the USPS issued more than $100,000 in claims checks. The investigation, which involved the examination of internet addresses, bank records, email records, and USPS data, conclusively linked Maresca to the filed fraudulent claims.

In December 2021, a United States Postal Inspector and an Office of Inspector General (OIG) Special Agent from the USPS interviewed Maresca at his residence in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

During the course of the interview, Maresca admitted to making over 2,200 fraudulent claims and confessed to forging his family members’ signatures on the checks sent by USPS.

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