Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

USPS Mail Carrier Arrested For Targeting Victims On Mail Route In Fraud And Identity Theft Scheme

May 23, 2024
DOJ

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » United States Department of Justice

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Matthew Modafferi, the Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Area Field Office of the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General (“USPS-OIG”), announced today that TAMEKA BABULAL, a/k/a “Tameka Williams,” a/k/a “Sharniece Williams,” a/k/a “Meek Williams,” a United States Postal Service (“USPS”) mail carrier in Mount Vernon, New York, was arrested for stealing credit cards, checks, and identities from the mail in order to carry out a scheme and conspiracy to fraudulently steal money from individuals and financial institutions.  TAMEKA BABULAL, along with her husband JOEL BABULAL, a/k/a “Joel Nical Babulal,” were arrested this morning in Hempstead, New York, this morning and appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith C. McCarthy.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “The charges against the defendants reflect this Office’s continued commitment to working with our law enforcement partners to protect the U.S. mail system.  As alleged, Tameka Babulal abused her position as a mail carrier, targeted victims on her mail route, and stole their identities to carry out an extensive and calculated scheme to line her and her co-conspirators’ pockets.  When those entrusted to deliver mail abuse their position to corrupt our mail system from within, this Office will hold them responsible for their conduct.”

USPS-OIG Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi said: “U.S. Postal Service employees who betray the American Public’s trust by using their position for personal gain will be thoroughly investigated by the Special Agents of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.  The dedicated work of Postal Service employees should never be overshadowed by those who compromise their integrity.  Our agency values all of our relationships in the law enforcement community, and we would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York for their continued support.”

As alleged in the Complaint:[1]

TAMEKA BABULAL is a mail carrier who delivers mail to and from residents and businesses with mail going through the USPS Processing and Distribution Center in Mount Vernon, New York.  She, however, did not perform the role entrusted to her and, instead, used her position to steal mail in furtherance of a fraud and identity theft scheme aimed at illicitly benefitting herself and her co-conspirators, including JOEL BABULAL.

TAMEKA BABULAL’s alleged actions include stealing checks mailed from victims, stealing credit cards mailed to victims and then attempting to use those cards for personal gain, depositing altered checks that were stolen from victims throughout the U.S. into personal financial accounts, and coordinating with co-conspirators to obtain the personal identifying information of victims she targeted on her mail route so that she and her co-conspirators could open fraudulent accounts in the victims’ names.  As detailed in the Complaint, the evidence obtained during the course of law enforcement’s investigation includes photographs from TAMEKA BABULAL’s cloud storage account connected to her phone, emails and telephone calls she made to financial institutions, fraudulent credit card applications, and messages between her and her co-conspirators in furtherance of their fraud scheme and conspiracy. JOEL BABULAL is alleged to have participated in the conspiracy.

When law enforcement conducted a search of TAMEKA BABULAL and JOEL BABULAL’s residence this morning, officers recovered, among other things, dozens of credit cards and checks in other people’s names, including “washed” checks; several bundles of undelivered mail, including from financial institutions, destined for addresses on TAMEKA BABULAL’s mail route in Mount Vernon, New York; several social security cards and tax documents in other people’s names; and 17 phones, including phones alleged to have been used in the fraud scheme and conspiracy.

As a result of these allegations, TAMEKA BABULAL’s employment with USPS will be suspended indefinitely pending resolution of these charges.

*                *                *

TAMEKA BABULAL, 36, of Hempstead, New York, is charged with one count of theft of mail by a postal worker, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count each of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison.

JOEL BABULAL, 36, of Hempstead, New York, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

The mandatory minimum and maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by a judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Northeast Area Field Office of the USPS-OIG.  Mr. Williams also thanked the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for its continued involvement in this investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Reyhan Watson is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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