Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Rob New Orleans PO

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that ROBERT WARREN, age 74, no known residence, pled guilty as charged yesterday to an Indictment charging one count of attempting to rob a United States Postal Office and one count of interference with postal employees.

According to court records, WARREN entered the Postal Office located at 701 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, handed a handwritten note to a teller, and demanded a quantity of money. WARREN was quickly arrested by investigators for the United States Postal Inspection Service.

inspectorWARREN faces a sentence of imprisonment of up to ten years for the attempted robbery charge and up to eight years for the interference with postal employees charge. U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon scheduled sentencing for June 23, 2016.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the United States Postal Inspection Service in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan L. Shih is in charge of the prosecution.

Video: Indiana mail carrier honored for saving a woman’s life

A Granger mail carrier was honored by the U.S. Postal Service after saving a collapsed woman’s life last summer.

Tracy Swartz was driving home in Mishawaka with her 14-year-old daughter when she saw a woman lying on the ground with a bike on top of her.

The woman had no pulse and didn’t appear to be breathing.Swartz jumped into action, beginning the life-saving process.

Source: Granger mail carrier honored for saving a woman’s life

Postal Employee Indicted For Theft Of More Than $2 Million In Social Security Checks

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Stacy Darnell Mitchell (48, Tampa) with theft of government property and theft of mail. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.

According to the indictment, between in or about January 2012 and in or about October 2012, Mitchell stole Social Security benefits checks worth more than $1,000 from the mail. Richard Lee Anderson, an accomplice of Mitchell who received the checks, recently pleaded guilty to related charges. According to Anderson’s plea agreement, he received benefit checks totaling at least $2,275,000 during the relevant time period. Mitchell worked at the Processing and Distribution Center facility in St. Petersburg.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General, the U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Tampa Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Scruggs.

APWU, USPS Resolve Dispute Over PSE Transfers in MVS Craft

03/17/2016The APWU and USPS have signed an agreement that prohibits the transfer of Postal Support Employees (PSEs) between installations or districts in the Motor Vehicle Craft, MVS Director Michael Foster has announced.

“We discovered that the USPS was allowing PSEs to transfer in various parts of the country without negotiating with the union,” Foster explained. “This had the potential to cause many repercussions in the field, such as manipulating the salary structure of PSEs in an installation and impeding the transfer of career employees. We will continue to strive toward our goal of having all PSEs converted to career status instead of transferring from site to site,” he said.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on March 16.

Source: APWU, USPS Resolve Dispute Over PSE Transfers in MVS Craft

Video: Cluster mailbox theft is becoming more common in the Sacramento area

SACRAMENTO – It’s a crime that’s becoming more common. Thieves break into a community mailbox – also called a cluster mailbox – and grab your mail, your money and your peace of mind.

Victims of the thefts said the crimes are an avoidable symptom of an otherwise trustworthy mail system.

“There are little frustrations, and this seems like an avoidable frustration,” said Tom Bright of Sacramento County’s Parkway community.Bright showed ABC10 just how easy it is to break into.

Source: This type of theft is becoming more common in the Sacramento area |

Ohio postal worker charged with opening mail that contained Oxycodone

A criminal information was filed charging an employee of the U.S. Postal Service for opening a package that contained Oxycodone, said Carole S. Rendon, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Barbara Wright, 49, of Martin, Ohio, was charged with one count of theft of mail matter by an officer or employee.

uspsoigIf convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after reviewing factors unique to this 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 investigating agency in this case is the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General. The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Tracey B. Tangeman.

An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Shippo launches USPS ePostage to the public

San Francisco, CA (March 17, 2016) ­ S​hippo (, whose mission is to power shipping for businesses of all sizes, today launched their USPS ePostage integration, making them one of the only public APIs for purchasing U.S. postage online, the first since 1999. Any business will be able to access the connection through Shippo’s simple RESTful API, as part of the large network of shipping providers that they have built. This integration is just the first of many that Shippo will be building with providers to achieve their goal of making shipping accessible, simple, and affordable for every business.

USPS restricts the use of their API to an exclusive list of companies. Back in 1999, they certified a list of companies including, Endicia, and Pitney Bowes ­ called PC Postage vendors. Almost two decades later, USPS is opening up access again for new entrants in the market as part of their ePostage program. Amazon, Etsy, and eBay have acquired the permission to implement this technology exclusively for their merchants. Today, Shippo will be the first to launch ePostage for public access.

shippo_green“Our goal at Shippo is to build technology that help e­commerce businesses access simple and affordable shipping solutions.” said Laura Behrens Wu, CEO and co­founder of Shippo. “I am very excited to launch ePostage today because not only are we able to provide our customers with a simple integration with the USPS, but we are now able to actively control our customer experience to ensuring a stable and responsive environment for them.”

The package shipping market has grown to be worth $300 billion globally as the e­commerce industry grows 15% year­over­year. In 2015 alone, 8.5 billion packages were shipped around the world. Despite this massive market, many shipping providers do not have APIs, and those that do are overly complicated and difficult to use.

Shippo solves that problem. They give SMBs, marketplaces, platforms, and inventory management companies access to a network of shipping providers through a single RESTful API. By having access to multiple carriers, businesses can save money by using specialized shipping service for various shipment needs.

Along with USPS, Shippo supports over 15 shipping providers across North America, Europe, and Australia. Shippo also uses economies of scale to help their customers negotiate significant discounts, and provide businesses of any size with the same competitive advantages that a powerhouse like Amazon would have. In 2015, Shippo sent millions of packages to over 230 countries around the world. Their technology powers shipping for customers such as Shyp, Mercari, Mainfreight, GoDaddy, Weebly, and thousands of others.

Today, Shippo customers have the ability to access rates and services across carriers to identify the right service level for their needs manually. Over the next year, Shippo will start to use the same logic to automatically suggest which specialized shipping service to use based on package information.

OIG: Department of Labor’s lax handling of compounded prescription drugs costs USPS millions


Enacted in 1916, the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) provides medical, compensation, death, and vocational rehabilitation benefits to civilian federal employees who sustain injuries or disease. In fiscal years (FYs) 2014 and 2015, FECA provided over $1 billion in annual workers’ compensation benefits to U.S. Postal Service workers.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Workers’ Compensation Program (OWCP) administers the FECA for the Postal Service and the federal government, including costs for medical treatment and drugs. The Postal Service reimburses the DOL for benefits paid out for a chargeback year (CBY) starting from July of the preceding year to June of the current year. The Postal Service pays about 39 percent of the federal government’s total workers’ compensation administrative expenses.

OWCP allows charges for compound drugs, which are created when licensed pharmacists, physicians, and others acting under the supervision of licensed pharmacists combine, mix, or alter ingredients of drugs to tailor them to individual patients. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor or approve compound drugs, or test their effectiveness or safety.

Our objective was to assess the Postal Service’s worker’s compensation compound drug costs.

What The OIG Found

The Postal Service’s workers’ compensation compound drug costs escalated to over $98.7 million for CBY 2015, a $68.6 million increase over CBY 2014. During the same period, the Postal Service’s administrative expenses for compound drugs increased to $5.1 million, a $3.6 million increase. The costs for compounds have continued to escalate. For the first 6 months of CBY 2016 (July 2015 through December 2015), the Postal Service has incurred $85.7 million in compound drug costs, with another $71 million forecasted through the end of the year. These unprecedented increases were due to the higher costs of compound drugs, the rising number of compound drug prescriptions, and fraud.

Generally, compound drugs are more costly than other drugs. In 2012, the National Council on Prescription Drug Programs permitted pharmacies to separately bill for each ingredient in a compound drug. Subsequently, more pharmacies began compounding drugs, which created shortages in ingredients and increased the cost. In CBY 2015, the total number of Postal Service employees with compound drug prescriptions increased to 50,204 — nearly three times the number in CBY 2011.

In response to the dramatic increase in compound drug costs nationwide, various government agencies and private entities began to examine these costs and implement best practices for managing them. The U.S. Department of Defense evaluated these costs and made an alarming discovery: Doctors were prescribing and charging for compound drugs without seeing patients. In a massive workers’ compensation scheme in California, doctors were paid to prescribe compound drugs that patients did not need. In one case, a 5-month-old baby died after coming in contact with a compound transdermal cream prescribed for his mother.

In 2015, TRICARE, the military health insurance program, restricted compound drugs in an effort to curtail fraud, reduce costs, and provide more consistent and safe drugs for its beneficiaries. Similarly, state and private entities have implemented restrictions such as: 1) reimbursement caps on prescriptions, 2) fee schedules for compound drugs, 3) mandatory use of pharmacy benefits managers, 4) formularies (lists of prescription drugs covered by prescription drug plans), and 5) pre-authorizations for payment.

The Postal Service experienced escalated compound drug related costs because the DOL did not implement best practices to manage these costs. As a result, we estimated the Postal Service incurred over $81.8 million in excessive compound drug costs and nearly $4.1 million in excessive administrative fees for FYs 2014 and 2015. We also estimated that if the DOL does not implement best practices to control compound drug costs, these costs and the related administrative fees could accumulate to over $1.2 billion and over $60.3 million, respectively, over the next 3 years.

Although the Postal Service has expressed that it would like to reduce and better manage compound drug costs, it is limited because it is mandated to use the DOL to handle workers’ compensation drug costs. For its part, the DOL has full authority to implement all of the best practices mentioned above. But, the DOL has no incentive to do so, and DOL officials have not been receptive to adopting these or other best practices. In addition, DOL stated if a doctor approves the compound drug they assume it is necessary and will reimburse the costs.

The Postal Service is so concerned about rising drug costs and DOL’s inaction that, in October 2015, it requested an adjustment and withheld $68.6 million in payment for its workers’ compensation chargeback bill. According to Postal Service officials, the $68.6 million represented compound drug cost increases potentially attributable to fraud and abuse that OWCP had a duty to prevent. In December 2015, the DOL denied the Postal Service’s request. While Postal Service officials disagreed with the DOL’s determination, they paid the outstanding $68.6 million.

Until the DOL implements best practices to manage drug costs and ensure safe drugs, the Postal Service will continue to incur excessive and unnecessary costs and injured workers could be at an increased risk of harm.

What The OIG Recommends

We recommend the chief human resources officer and executive vice president continue to coordinate with the DOL to identify and implement best practices for controlling compound drug costs and authorizing payments for only FDA approved drugs. In addition, we recommend Human Resources, in coordination with Government Relations, inform and educate Congress on the impact of DOL’s failure to address escalating compound drug costs on the Postal Service.

Video: USPS workers stop elderly man from throwing away part of his life savings

BALTIMORE (WBFF)– Three alert United States Postal Service employees are being credited with stopping a suspected mail fraud scam that had targeted an elderly U.S. Veteran.

The employees of the Middle River, Baltimore County branch of the Post Office tell us how they were alerted to the possible scheme. Supervisor Erica Lomax said, “the red flag was him wanting to send a blank money order to someone he didn’t know.” Continue reading

Video: Mailboxes found left wide open in Arizona town

SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ – Residents are reporting possible postal problems in a San Tan Valley neighborhood again.

It’s nothing new for the residents who’ve been dealing with USPS problems for months–this time in a neighborhood near Gantzel and Combs roads.

“It steadily has gotten worse,” neighbor Chris Bethel says. He says just six weeks ago a package was delivered, only it never showed up.

Complaints seem to have gone down for a while after our initial reports in September 2015 , but neighbors say problems are starting to creep back up again.

Source: San Tan Valley mailboxes found left wide open; neighbors demanding answers from post office