CAMDEN, N.J. – A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee and three others were charged in connection with a $100,000 fraud involving numerous stolen blank money orders, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced today.
Marc Saunders, 39, of Sicklerville, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with stealing a money order imprinting machine and over 180 blank USPS money orders and defrauding the USPS by presenting them and providing them to others, knowing that they were issued unlawfully.
Anthony J. Bell, 38, Andre M. Sutton, 39, both of Philadelphia, and Eugene J. Bowen, 35, of Knoxville, Tennessee, are charged by complaint with defrauding the USPS by presenting the stolen money orders and providing them to others, knowing that they were issued unlawfully.
Saunders, Bell, and Sutton were arrested today and will appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider in Camden federal court. Bowen is still at large.
According to the complaints:
In 2014, Saunders worked at the New Lisbon, New Jersey, USPS branch. In late 2016, law enforcement learned that a money order imprinting machine and more than 180 blank money orders previously issued to that branch were missing. Beginning in 2015, some of the stolen blank money orders surfaced after having been imprinted with dollar amounts and cashed at different USPS branches in the Philadelphia area. About 130 of those stolen money orders were cashed through the end of 2016.
The investigation uncovered alleged links between people who cashed some of those money orders and middlemen Bell, Bowen, and Sutton, and links between the middlemen and Saunders. Saunders was linked to the middlemen through Facebook posts, telephone records, and other evidence. A number of the stolen money orders were cashed in the Knoxville area right after Bowen visited Saunders in New Jersey and returned to Tennessee.
The count of stealing a money order imprinting machine and blank postal money orders carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The count of defrauding the USPS carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Monica Weyler, with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard Wiener of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.