NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced Friday, September 14, 2018 three indictments of United States Postal Service employees. JACQUELINE M. BATISTE, a/k/a/ JACQUELINE BATISTE FRANCOIS (“BATISTE”), age 47, of Harvey, Louisiana, was indicted for Misappropriation of Postal Funds. BRIA DAVIS (“DAVIS”), age 25, of New Orleans, Louisiana, was indicted for Theft of Mail and Delay or Destruction of Mail. COURTNEY C. DUPLESSIS (“DUPLESSIS”), age 30, of New Orleans, Louisiana, was indicted for Theft of Mail and Delay or Destruction of Mail.
According to the first indictment, BATISTE was employed by the United States Postal Service as a City Letter Carrier/Supervisor at the New Orleans Bywater Station Post Office. One of BATISTE’s responsibilities was to prepare and dispatch the Bywater Station Post Office’s daily remittances for deposit with the New Orleans Process and Delivery Center Registry Section. After an investigation by the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Postal Service (“Postal agents”), it was determined that BATISTE stole approximately $1,214.00 from the Bywater Station Post Office.
According to the second indictment, DAVIS was a U.S. Postal Service Postal Support Employee/Sales Distribution Clerk at the Slidell Post Office, and worked at the retail window counter and performed a variety of tasks including Postal sales, delivering mail to customer P.O. Boxes, and assisting customers with P.O. Box related business. After an investigation by the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Postal Service, it was determined that on various dates from September 2016 to January 2017, DAVIS stole several pieces of mail containing checkbooks, gift cards, cash, and checks. Postal agents also discovered approximately ten additional articles of stolen mail in DAVIS’s personal vehicle.
According to the third indictment, DUPLESSIS was employed by the United States Postal Service as a Letter Carrier originally assigned to the Carrolton Station Post Office and then to the Elmwood Station Post Office. After an investigation by the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Postal Service, it was determined that on various dates from October 2017 to June 2018, DUPLESSIS stole several pieces of mail containing gift cards and cash. Postal agents also discovered approximately 54 articles of stolen mail in DUPLESSIS’s personal vehicle.
“The indictments obtained are a reflection of the hard work of our special agents who vigorously investigated these theft schemes and should serve as a deterrent for those that abuse the position entrusted in them,” said U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Christopher Cave, Southern Area Field Office. “The USPS-OIG, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to aggressively pursue these investigations. Our agency will remain vigilant in enforcing these types of crimes.”
U. S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that an Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of each defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, BATISTE faces a maximum penalty of ten (10) years imprisonment, followed by up to three (3) years of supervised release, and a $250,000.00 fine. DAVIS and DUPLESSIS face a maximum penalty of five (5) years imprisonment as to each count, followed by up to three (3) years of supervised release, and a $250,000.00 fine.
These cases were all investigated by special agents from the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General (“USPS-OIG”). Additionally, the Slidell Police Department assisted the USPS-OIG in the DAVIS matter. The prosecution of all three of these cases is being handled by Fraud Unit Chief, Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.