NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in a scheme to bribe mail carriers to steal postal arrow keys used to unlock mail receptacles and to use stolen items from the mail to fraudulently obtain funds from banks, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Amin C. Jones, 29, of Orange, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count each of bribery of U.S. Postal Service mail carriers and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Jones schemed to bribe mail carriers in East Orange and Newark, New Jersey, by offering them cash, typically $5,000, in exchange for the mail carriers giving Jones a postal arrow key, which could be used to access a variety of postal service mail receptacles. Jones and others sought USPS arrow keys so that they could steal mail. From June to July 2021, Jones and another individual drove to various locations in East Orange and Newark, where they stopped over four different mail carriers, including an undercover postal inspector, who Jones believed was a mail carrier, and handed them a note indicating they would give $5,000 to the mail carrier in exchange for an arrow key.
From January to July 2021, Jones conspired with others to obtain funds fraudulently from banks by stealing mail and using stolen checks and bank cards to draw funds from bank accounts linked to the stolen items and using the identification of others to fraudulently obtain funds.
The bribery charge to which Jones pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison and the bank fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. The maximum potential fine for the bribery charge is $250,000 and the bank fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential fine of $1 million. Sentencing is currently scheduled for April 25, 2023.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Newark under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Raimundo Marrero, Philadelphia Division, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jihee G. Suh of the Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.