Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge James Moody today sentenced Stacy Darnell Mitchell (48,Tampa) to nine years and one month in federal prison for theft of stolen government property and mail theft. As part of his sentence, the Court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $2,085,649.50 and ordered him to pay restitution to the Social Security Administration in the amount of $720,881.60. A federal jury found Mitchell guilty on January 11, 2017.
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 $3 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 sold the checks to an accomplice in Tampa, who then 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 those 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 – Office of the Inspector General, the United States Department of the Treasury – Office of Inspector General, and the United States Postal Inspection Service, as well as various local enforcement agencies. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Scruggs.