NEWARK, N.J. – A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee today admitted stealing checks sent through the mail, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Juan Torres, 28, of Hackensack, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to an information charging him with one count of mail theft.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Torres admitted that from November 2019 to May 2020 he stole checks that were addressed to third-party victims and mailed to addresses on postal routes in Hackensack, Leonia, and Maywood, New Jersey. He subsequently deposited the checks in New Jersey and elsewhere, into a bank account that he controlled, including a $1,505 check stolen from mail addressed to a third party. Torres stole checks totaling over $27,000.
The mail theft charge is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 4, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents with the U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi, Northeast Area Field Office, and postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Rodney M. Hopkins, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. She also thanked special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez, and the Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew McKay, for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine K. Lou of the Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.