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Former Richmond Postal Carrier Pleads Guilty to Stealing Mail

March 4, 2024

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » United States Department of Justice

RICHMOND, Va. – A former postal carrier with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in Richmond pleaded guilty yesterday to theft of mail.

According to court documents, Wendy Lawrence, 40, stole mail, removing gift cards, checks, and other items of value for her own use. Law enforcement recovered stolen mail from Lawrence’s residence belonging to over 180 victims.

After stealing checks from the mail, Lawrence used the bank account and routing information on those checks to initiate electronic payments, which she used for such expenses as her tax bill, pest control bill, and rent. On at least one occasion, to prolong and conceal the fraud scheme, Lawrence initiated a fraudulent address change with the USPS on behalf of a victim, rerouting the victim’s mail to Lawrence’s address. Law enforcement also recovered checks from Lawrence’s residence that she forged for her own benefit, including checks in the name of at least 30 other individuals.

Lawrence faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Jeff Krafels, Special Agent in Charge of the Mid Atlantic Area Field Office for the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General; Ajay D. Lall, Acting Inspector in Charge for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division; and Bradford W. Nunnally, Sheriff for Powhatan County, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge M. Hannah Lauck accepted the plea. The Powhatan County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office provided substantial assistance.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Avi Panth is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:24-cr-17.

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