PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Former U.S. Postal Service employee Elizabeth Shante Brown, 29, of Panama City, Florida, was sentenced last week to serve 25 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing and using debit cards and checks from postal customers, as well as cash from Post Offices.
Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the sentence following Brown’s guilty plea to charges of bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and theft of United States mail.
While working for the Postal Service at locations in Okaloosa, Walton, and Holmes counties in Florida, Brown stole postal customers’ individual and business bank checks and debit cards from the mail between March 1 and May 31, 2017. She used the stolen debit cards to purchase or attempt to purchase items of value and used the stolen checks to obtain or attempt to obtain cash. Brown was arrested after she attempted to cash one of the stolen checks at a bank in Panama City. As part of her sentence, Brown was ordered to pay restitution to the victims.
“Public servants have an obligation to treat the public with respect and integrity, but this defendant tried to use her position of public trust for personal enrichment without regard to how it would hurt her innocent victims,” U.S. Attorney Keefe said. “This kind of flagrant violation of that trust will not be tolerated, and the result will be prison time for someone who thought shecould get away with it.”
The case resulted from an investigation by the United States Postal Service – Office of Inspector General and the Panama City Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Ryan Love.
“The sentencing serves as a strong deterrent to those attempting to abuse the Postal Service and a clear reminder that the government is vigilant, and these crimes will not be tolerated,” said Special Agent in Charge Christopher Cave, of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General
Southern Area Field Office. “The USPS-OIG, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to vigorously investigate these types of cases in order to continue to protect the sanctity of the Postal Service.”