SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – On June 15, 2015, PENNY I. AUERBACH (47), former Postmaster Relief at the Westford Post Office in Otsego County, New York, was sentenced in United States District Court after pleading guilty to one count of stealing money orders and cash from the United States Postal Service and one count of misappropriating postal funds, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Eileen Neff, Special Agent in Charge, Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service, Northeast Area Field Office.
United States Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles sentenced AUERBACH to four years of probation and 50 hours of community service. Additionally, the judge ordered AUERBACH to pay $4,677.83 in restitution to the Postal Service and imposed a forfeiture money judgment in that amount as well.
At sentencing, AUERBACH admitted to “kiting” money orders from the Westford Post Office by taking money from her cash drawer that had been provided by customers to purchase money orders and using that cash during the period of time between the sale of the money orders and the dates on which the Postal Service was expensed for these money orders after their negotiation. In other words, rather than depositing in her drawer the cash provided by customers to purchase money orders, AUERBACH would take the cash to cover her own financial obligations (including, but not necessarily limited to, paying for previous money orders she had taken). The Postal Service was thus expensed, but never reimbursed, a total of $4,677.83 for money orders checked out exclusively to AUERBACH.