A grand jury returned an indictment charging a U.S. Postal Service employee with stealing more than 250 gift cards from the mail while working at 2400 Orange Avenue in Cleveland.
Monique Wheeler, 54, of Warrensville Heights, was indicted on one count of theft of mail. Wheeler knowingly stole or took letters, postal cards, packages, bags, or mail and numerous gift cards of varying monetary amounts between July 2017 and September 2017, according to the indictment.
Wheeler stole from the mail gift cards to dozens of stores or services, including Aldi, Amazon, Applebee’s, Best Buy, Bob Evans, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chick Fil A, Chipotle, DSW, Game Stop, Home Depot, Kohl’s, Lowe’s, MasterCard, Panera, Red Lobster, Starbucks, Target, Victoria’s Secret, Visa, Xbox and others.
U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said: “This defendant is accused of stealing hundreds of gift cards worth thousands of dollars over three months. Presumably some of these were birthday presents or other gifts that people entrusted to the postal service for delivery. Those who steal mail will be held accountable for their actions, just like any other criminal.”
U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Kenneth F. Cleevely stated: “The vast majority of the 600,000 Postal Service employees nationwide are hard working individuals worthy of America’s trust. However, when one of them decides to violate that trust, special agents of the USPS OIG will conduct an aggressive and thorough investigation, as was done in this case. Special agents will seek federal prosecution and the individual’s removal from the Postal Service. When an employee steals from the mail, they risk loss of employment, loss of their retirement, and loss of their freedom. To report postal employees involved in criminal activity, contact USPS OIG special agents at www.uspsoig.gov or 888-USPS-OIG.”
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to her case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ranya Elzein and was investigated by the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.