MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today that three United States postal workers have been arrested and charged with stealing more than $4,000 in separate incidents in post offices in Massapequa Park, Hicksville, and Uniondale.
This morning, DA Investigators arrested Harold Gutierrez, 49, of Uniondale; Rita Haynes, 56, of Roosevelt; and Lisa Jimenez, 45, of the Bronx and charged them with Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree. Gutierrez was also charged with misdemeanor Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree. Each defendant faces up to four years in prison if convicted and is scheduled to be arraigned later today in First District Court, Hempstead.
The investigation of these cases was conducted by the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General, and referred to the DA’s Office for prosecution.
Rice said that between July 2010 and September 2011, Gutierrez stole $1,471 from the Massapequa Park Post Office by improperly ringing up customers. Gutierrez would falsely enter customer transactions or omit retail customer transactions entirely, keeping the cash for himself. Gutierrez used the cash to pay for personal living expenses, and admitted to investigators that he had also stolen DVDs from Netflix and Blockbuster mailings.
In a separate incident, Rice said that between November 2009 and February 2011, Haynes stole $1,542 from the Hicksville Post Office by failing to scan or enter retail customer transactions and short-ringing customers’ stamp purchases, a process where Haynes would charge a customer less than their actual purchase was worth and then keeping the difference.
In another separate incident, Rice said that November 2009, Jimenez, working at the Uniondale Post Office, sold money orders for $500 and $1,000 to two different customers. Jimenez then voided the money orders, unbeknownst to the customers, and then fraudulently created two money orders in the same amounts made payable to two of her family members.
“These three defendants violated the trust placed in them by their employers and the innocent customers they were hired to serve,” Rice said. “Corruption at any level of government is unacceptable and I will continue to collaborate with other law enforcement agencies to root out waste, fraud, and abuse.”
Deputy Chief William Wallace of the Government & Consumer Frauds Bureau is prosecuting the cases for the DA’s Office. Gutierrez is represented by Daniel Russo, Esq. Jimenez is represented by Eric Sachs, Esq. Attorney information is unavailable for Haynes.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.