the daily news digest of the postal world since 1998


Canada Post and Hamilton square off in landmark mail delivery case

It’ll be a historic day in Hamilton courts on Tuesday as Canada Post faces off against the city over where it can put super mailboxes.

Canada Post is installing community mailboxes across Hamilton Mountain as part of a nationwide plan to phase out urban door-to-door mail delivery.

But the city wants a say in how they do it and has gone to court to assert those rights. Canada Post rejects this notion, saying federal legislation gives it a mandate to deliver the mail, and that trumps municipal powers.

The fight is being watched by many other municipalities across the country, all of which are facing similar plans from the postal service to install super mailboxes.

Canada Post is already facing a lawsuit from a union representing postal workers that wants the Federal Court to declare the cancellation of home delivery unconstitutional. And a group of Montreal-area mayors last week said they were considering joining the action, accusing Canada Post of ignoring their concerns.

In the face of declining traditional mail volumes, Canada Post announced a plan in December 2013 to end door-to-door delivery and gave itself five years to implement the move to community mailboxes.

Read more: Canada Post and Hamilton square off in landmark mail delivery case – Latest Hamilton news – CBC Hamilton


Video: New Mexico man in jail after terrorizing mail carrier

Police say Jered Leatherman is accused of frightening a postal worker by following her and cutting her off while she…

Posted by Roswell Daily Record on Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Connecting rural India: Network-connected handheld devices for postal delivery soon

NEW DELHI: The Department of Posts is likely to soon start a Rs 1,370-crore mega project that will allow India’s 1.3 lakh postmen in rural regions to use network-connected handheld terminals for postal delivery.

The project, awarded last year to a consortium that includes state-run Telecom Consultants of India (TCIL), system integrator Ricoh India and Hyderabad-based VisionTek, which provides handheld devices, was delayed due to unavailability of components.

Big IT companies such as HP and Wipro were also in the running for the contract rolled out by the ministry of communications & information technology.

“Based on terminal devices on network, the DoP initiative is likely to happen later this month. The project was delayed as the private company took time to deliver the components,” TCIL’s chairman and managing director Vimal Wakhlu told ET.

Read more: Connecting rural India- Network-connected handheld devices for postal delivery soon – The Times of India


USPS settles with NLRB on data breach complaint

From Politico:

POSTAL SERVICE SETTLES DATA BREACH LABOR CASE: The U.S. Postal Service agreed to settle an NLRB complaint alleging it refused to bargain with its unions over how to rectify a data breach that compromised personal information for hundreds of thousands of employees.

The issue was a novel one for the board, which, experts say, has rarely, if ever, considered whether employers have a duty to bargain with labor groups over data breaches. The settlement constitutes what is essentially an admission by the Post Office that it had a duty to negotiate with unions over how to address the breach.

Source: POLITICO Morning Shift – POLITICO


Quick action by letter carrier saves customer’s home

North Versailles, PA, Letter Carrier Tyson Coulverson was delivering mail to a house when he noticed smoke pouring from a window. Realizing no one was home, he called 911. Firefighters arrived and extinguished the blaze. They credited Coulverson’s quick action with saving the house.

Source: USPS News Link – Postal News and Information


USPS puts nearly all remaining consolidations and closings on hold

May 22, 2015- The USPS announced significant changes to the Phase II-2015 USPS Network Rationalization Consolidation initiative. With the exception of the Houston P&DC and Queens P&DC, the USPS has suspended all remaining closures and consolidations to a date to be determined. The National Office of the NPMHU has requested a meeting to discuss the implications of this decision. Additional information will be disseminated as it becomes available.

Access the updated closure/consolidation list.

Access the USPS RIBBS Network Rationalization website.



New Jersey PSE charged with tax refund fraud

US-Department-Of-Justi_fmtNEWARK, N.J. – A former postal worker who allegedly used stolen identities to assist in the filing of fraudulent tax returns to generate false U.S. Treasury checks was charged today for his involvement in the scam, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Luis Martin, 24, of Trenton, New Jersey, was arrested this morning by special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, postal inspectors from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, special agents of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, and special agents of the U.S. Secret Service. He is charged by complaint with one count of stealing government funds. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.

According to the complaint:

Background on Stolen Identify Refund Fraud

Stolen Identity Refund Fraud (SIRF) is a common type of fraud committed against the United States government that involves the use of stolen identities to commit tax refund fraud.  SIRF schemes generally share a number of hallmarks:

  • SIRF perpetrators obtain personal identifying information, including Social Security numbers and dates of birth, from unwitting individuals, who often reside in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • SIRF perpetrators complete Form 1040 tax returns using the fraudulently obtained information and falsifying wages earned, taxes withheld, and other data, always ensuring that the fraudulent tax return generates a refund.
  • They direct the U.S. Treasury Department to mail refund checks to locations that the perpetrators control or can access.
  • With the fraudulently obtained refund checks in hand, SIRF perpetrators generate cash proceeds by depositing the checks into bank accounts that they control.

The Investigation

From June 2014 through February 2015, Martin allegedly caused to be filed 13 fraudulent Form 1040s, claiming $75,380 in fraudulent tax refund payments from the U.S. Treasury. He allegedly used his position as a postal worker in Monmouth County, New Jersey, to facilitate the scheme.

The count of theft of government funds with which Martin is charged is carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gain or loss caused by the offense.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen; postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates; special agents of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Monica S. Weyler; and special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Carl Agnelli, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest and charge.


Video: Two Virginia PSEs charged in conspiracy to steal money orders

According to court documents, Brandon Dandridge faces mail theft charges after several money orders from customers never made it to their destination.

In some of the cases, the customer filed a complaint with the post office, only to find out the money orders had already been cashed.

In an effort to confirm that Dandridge was stealing the money orders from customers, an undercover agent visited the Lakeside Post Office Branch and bought two money orders from him.

Authorities discovered that a signature was forged on the back of one of the money orders and redeemed by another postal clerk.

That other clerk was Shelita Cobb, who worked at the Westhampton Post Office.

Court documents allege that Cobb was a co-conspirator in the scheme.

Read more: Former Henrico postal clerk arrested for stealing money orders |


Pennsylvania man pleads guilty to stealing mail from mailboxes

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Monroe County man pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Scranton, before Senior United States District Judge Edwin M. Kosik, to the charge of theft of mail.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Jacob Tanner, age 29, of East Stroudsburg, Monroe County, admitted to stealing mail in the Stroudsburg area in 2014.  The thefts were discovered after a number of Stroudsburg residents complained about missing, torn or discarded mail.  Tanner was observed on surveillance video removing mail from a mailbox outside a residence in Stroudsburg.  Postal Authorities later apprehended Tanner in possession of stolen mail in December 2014.

The case was investigated by the United States Postal Service, Office of Postal Inspection Services, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. O’Hara.

Anyone who believes they may be a victim or have further information should contact Postal Inspector David Heinke, United States Postal Service, at 877-876-2455

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is 5 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


Vehicle upgrades a crucial investment, USPS CFO says

LLV fleetReplacing the Postal Service’s delivery fleet is necessary to the organization’s future, Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett told a congressional panel May 21.

New vehicles will ensure USPS is able to fulfill its obligation to provide prompt, reliable and efficient services for the nation, he said.

“In order to effectively meet the needs of our customers and employees, the Postal Service must invest in and maintain its existing infrastructure, and our delivery fleet is a critical component,” Corbett said.

The CFO testified before the House Government Operations Subcommittee, which oversees postal matters.

USPS wants to secure new right-hand drive vehicles to “accommodate a diverse mail mix, enhance safety, improve service, reduce emissions and produce savings,” he said.

The current fleet has about 210,000 vehicles. These include Long Life Vehicles (LLVs), which had a “planned useful life” of approximately 24 years when USPS acquired them.

The operational efficiency, safety and technology are very outdated, Corbett said.

“Our current delivery vehicles are rapidly nearing the end of their useful life and it is now time to move into the future with a new generation of vehicles that will better serve customers, employees and the American public,” Corbett said.

The CFO’s testimony will be posted to the Newsroom site.

Source: USPS News Link Story – Moving into the future