MOBILE, Ala. – Two people, including a former postal worker, admitted Tuesday to a scheme to steal millions of dollars’ worth of business checks sent through the mail.
Kalaijha Tomeco Rainier Lewis and Brian Christopher Williams III pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
The offense carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, although prosecutors have agreed to recommend leniency. In addition, the defendants have the possibility for a further sentencing break if she cooperates with prosecuting co-conspirators. A judge set sentencing for January.
Lewis, who worked as a clerk at the downtown post office on St. Joseph Street, admitted that she took stacks of business checks over a roughly three-month period this year and then sold them to Williams. He and others then sold the checks online through an encrypted messaging platform called Telegram, according to Lewis’ written plea agreement. The total value of the stolen checks posted on the channel exceeded $17.7 million, according to the document.
U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigators began looking into complaints made in January by several Mobile-area businesses that had not received checks they were expecting.