Melanie Morrow, a Postal Support Employee at the Huntland, Tennessee post office, has admitted that she “kited” money orders from the office, selling the orders to customers, but keeping the procedds, which she said she intended to pay back. In return for her guilty plea, Morrow will be sentenced to two years probation, and restitution of the $1,543.73 she “borrowed”.
The plea agreement describes the crime:
Postal Agents had developed information that an employee at a Post Office in Franklin County, Tennessee, had been converting proceeds which belonged to the United States Postal Service (USPS). Investigation soon focused on the defendant, Melanie Morrow. Agents learned that the defendant, a postal employee, would sell postal money orders to the public. Selling money orders to the public was part of the defendant’s job. Upon selling a money order, the defendant would pocket the money that she had received from the customer instead of depositing the money in her cash drawer as was required. Initially, when the defendant began embezzling, or kiting, the proceeds of money orders, she would repay to her cash drawer the amount of money she had taken within a matter of days. However, as the defendant began to embezzle, or kite, more money orders, she would take longer to repay the funds. The defendant ultimately “kited” the proceeds of numerous money orders, well in excess of $1,000.00.
In July, 2014, the defendant was approached by agents with the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General. The defendant admitted that she was in fact pocketing the proceeds of the money orders, repaying some and intending to repay all. The defendant explained to agents that she was suffering financial hardship. A final accounting of the defendant’s “drawer” showed that she was approximately $1,500.00 short. Investigation also revealed that the defendant had been pocketing the proceeds of money orders from January, 2014, to July, 2014.