Feds say Chicago letter carrier conspired to steal COVID stimulus checks from mail

CHICAGO —A Chicago man has been indicted on federal criminal charges for allegedly conspiring with a U.S. Postal Service employee and others to sell U.S. government checks stolen from the mail.

An indictment returned Monday in federal court in Chicago charges AKEEM KOSOKO, 26, with one count of conspiracy to steal mail and government funds, three counts of embezzlement of government property, and three counts of receipt of stolen mail. Arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

According to the indictment, Kosoko conspired with his brother, who worked as a postal carrier, and others to have U.S. Treasury checks taken from the mail and sold to others. The checks were issued last year as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Kosoko’s brother, AHMED KOSOKO, 35, of Chicago, was previously charged by federal criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to steal mail and government funds.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; Andre Martin, Special Agent-In-Charge of the Chicago Great Lakes Area Field Office of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General; William Hedrick, Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago; and Tamera Cantu, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago. The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Claire Nicholson.