Woman pleads guilty to mail fraud involving phony hold order

BOSTON – A Togolese national charged with mail fraud pleaded guilty and was sentenced today in federal court in Boston.

Roukayatou Damerogo, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of mail before U.S. District Court Judge Dennis F. Saylor IV, who then sentenced Damerogo to time served. Following the hearing, Damerogo was transferred into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and will be deported to Togo.

In August 2017, a Cape Cod resident contacted the United States Post Office (USPS) to report overdue mail deliveries. Further inquiry showed that an unknown person had placed a “mail hold” on the customer’s residence. When the customer traveled to his USPS branch to remove the hold and to pick up his mail, he found a box addressed to him containing 10 new Fitbit Exercise Bands. The customer had previously been the victim of fraudulent credit card transactions and believed the Fitbit purchases stemmed from the compromised credit card.

On Aug. 16, 2017, an individual purporting to be the USPS customer called USPS inquiring about the package of Fitbits. USPS informed law enforcement and they coordinated a time for the package to be delivered to the fraudulent customer, later revealed to be Damerogo. Immediately after retrieving the package, law enforcement stopped Damerogo, questioned her, and placed her under arrest.

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe; and Brewster Police Chief Richard J. Koch Jr. made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Weinreb’s Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.