Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury today found Stacy Darnell Mitchell (48, Tampa) guilty of theft of government property and theft of mail. He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. His sentencing date has not yet been set. Mitchell was indicted on March 1, 2016.
According to evidence presented at trial, Mitchell was a mail handler who had worked for more than 15 years at the Processing and Distribution Center (PDC) in St. Petersburg, which processes mail for all of Pinellas County. From January to October 2012, Mitchell stole Social Security benefit checks totaling over $2 million from that facility. More than 3,000 checks were taken from the PDC in 2012, all of which were destined for disabled or retired beneficiaries living in Pinellas County. Mitchell went on to sell the checks to an accomplice in Tampa, who in turn sold the checks to a network of individuals to be cashed at various convenience stores and check cashing businesses in Florida and elsewhere. Four of Mitchell’s accomplices have been convicted of federal charges related to the same theft scheme.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector the General, the United States Department of Treasury – Office of Inspector General, and the United States Postal Inspection Service, as well as various local enforcement agencies. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Scruggs.