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Two Riverside County Brothers Plead Guilty to Priority Mail Insurance Scam that Defrauded U.S. Postal Service Out of More Than $2.3 Million

February 19, 2024

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LOS ANGELES – Two Temecula brothers pleaded guilty today to defrauding the United States Postal Service (USPS) out of more than $2.3 million by filing thousands of fraudulent Priority Mail insurance claims.

Anwer Fareed Alam, 35, and Yousofzay Fahim Alam, 31, each pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud.

According to their plea agreements, from October 2016 to May 2019, the Alam brothers purchased from the USPS Priority Mail packages and postages that included $100 in insurance for lost or damaged parcel contents. Anwer Alam wrapped empty packages or packages containing little or no value and then sent them via Priority Mail to fake recipients at fictitious addresses.

Yousofzay Alam then submitted to USPS fraudulent insurance claims via the Postal Service’s website and falsely certified that the packages contained items of higher value than they did and lied that the packages were lost or had been damaged in transit. Yousofzay Alam also included false invoices as well as photographs of goods that were not actually inside the parcels. The Alam brothers used aliases and fake business names to hide the number of false insurance claims they submitted.

Relying on the false information in the fraudulent insurance claim forms, USPS issued checks to the Alam brothers to cover their purported losses up to $100 in value plus the cost of shipping. USPS sent the insurance claim checks by mail to the Alam brothers to various addresses in Temecula, which included their home addresses, their business addresses, and approximately 15 different post office boxes at two different post offices. The brothers then deposited the fraudulently obtained funds into their bank accounts.

For example, in November 2018, the Alam brothers fraudulently caused to be sent in the mail via USPS a $106.59 Priority Mail claim check, which was mailed to a business address in Temecula.

The total loss caused to USPS through this scheme was at least $2,367,033.

United States District Judge Wesley L. Hsu scheduled a November 1 sentencing hearing for the Alam brothers, at which time each of them will face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

The United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General investigated this matter.

Assistant United States Attorney Courtney N. Williams of the Riverside Branch Office is prosecuting this case.

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