ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Brian Kim, 38, of Fairfax, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to defrauding the U.S. Postal Service by counterfeiting and selling approximately $76,000 in postage stamps at two packaging centers he owned and operated in northern Virginia.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Gary Barksdale, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton.
Kim pleaded guilty to a criminal information containing one count of mail fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 7, 2014. Kim also has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $76,000, representing the total amount of illicit gains from the fraud.
In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Kim admitted that from January to October 2013, he counterfeited postal stamps that had been originally printed on a USPS-authorized postage meter, and he then affixed those stamps to packages and letters that customers brought to his packaging centers. Neither the customers who purchased the stamps nor the USPS employees who picked up the packages were aware of Kim’s scheme.
Kim’s packaging centers were located in Fairfax and Arlington, Virginia. On one representative day (Aug. 12, 2013), Kim caused the mailing of letters and packages bearing 80 counterfeit stamps, with a total value of $395.70. On Oct. 15, 2013, postal inspectors seized approximately $23,974.59 worth of counterfeit stamps while executing search warrants at Kim’s businesses.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney William E. Johnston and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kosta S. Stojilkovic are prosecuting the case.